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Fact of the case

Discuss the fact of the case, issues, rules and application of the rule in the factual back ground?

This is the case of Bob Quigley who himself is a builder. In this occasion he wanted to reconstruct his own house door as because he wanted to fill his house with more lights. He wanted to change the door into glass doors and for that he wanted strong English Oak wood frame for holding the heavy glasses.

In this connection he contracted his known builder’s merchant to provide the well seasoned frame made of superior quality of English Oak. Each piece of frame, cost near about £3,000 which is higher than normal quality frames which are available in the market. The specification is that the frame must be 5cm in depth to hold the heavy glass. The conversation was made on the phone and the merchant specifies that deals will be according to the standard terms of the contract as earlier. Bob earlier occasion did not bother to read that contract and put his assent on that.

Primarily Bob put two door frames and store the rest. But within a month of the doors became damage and various crack lines are also apparent on the door frames. He called his painter friend and use £2,500 for preparing. The friend informed him that the woods are not seasoned properly and actually are not from English Oak. The woods belong to low category stained birch and also not of 5cm dept for that it could not hold the heavy glass properly.

Bob complaint the merchant but he denied each and every claim as because of the clause 3 in the terms and condition which includes that the seller do not possess any legal responsibility for the violation of any implied condition as prescribed under Sales of goods Act, 1979 and he also assured that that clause cover up all the legal responsibility of him.

  • Whether Bob can claim any damage from the builder’s merchants?
  • Whether the mentioned clause 3 is enough to evade all the liability of builder’s merchants?
  • Whether the clause 3 is the unfair contract term within the meaning of Unfair Contract Terms Act, 1977?

As a universal regulation when any person purchases anything it is his responsibility to observe and examine whether that goods can fulfil his use or not. He has no right to hold others responsible for the act. This principle is identified as the canon of caveat emptor and under the application of this principle, vendor provides express situation or guarantee concerning a manufactured goods, he is obelised to obey that. In a situation where the commodity bought does not fulfil with such situation or warranty, the seller is legally responsible to recompense the purchaser. In the lack of express conditions by the vendor, law assumes that goods should assemble certain situation and guarantee, violation of such has the similar consequence as the violation of express conditions.


Normally there are no implicit circumstances that the commodities supplied by the vendor must be well fit for the use of the purchaser. The law of Caveat emptor apply in its place. It produce the meaning that at the same time as purchasing it is the accountability of the consumer to make sure that the commodities communicates to the obvious reason he desire to convene.

It is essential that the actual reason for which commodities are necessary must be recognized to the vendor. The reason may be identified clearly or by inference. If the commodities can be utilised for numerous purposes, the consumer should identified the precise reason to the vendor; or else the stipulation as to condition of the goods would not take effect.

As an instance of this it can be state that in this situation a purchaser ordered for canvas fabric which is usually utilised for stuffing reason. The fabric was provided for that reason but after getting those fabrics, the purchaser examines the fact that those materials are not suitable for his purpose of packing food stuff due to the bad smell. So in this regards he want to reject the consignment. In this case felt that the consumer had no point to refuse the consignment of those materials for the reason that though it was not appropriate for the precise object, it could be adjust for the reason of stuffing in its ordinary sense. There was no violation of circumstance or condition. Buyer lost his case as because he did not intimate the matters to the seller about the purpose. He simply conveys it’s as packing. So packing food stuffs is not mentioned properly. This thing provides the benefit to the seller in this case.

It is obviously not essential that the reason have to be articulated in words lone. If the commodities could merely be utilised for one object, it is implicit that the vendor had information regarding the reason for what the consumer require those commodities.

In the case of Priest v Last, it was happened that a person went to a chemist and claimed a warm water courage from himself.  That person gives a bottle to that buyer by stating that it was supposed to carry warm water, but not scorching hot water. Subsequent to few days of using that bottle the buyer’s wife got wounded as the bottle burst out, it was found that the container was not well suited as scorching warm water bottle. In this case the court decided that the purpose of the purchaser was obvious when he order a bottle for warm water bottle, as a consequence the implied situation as to condition is not fulfilled in this case.


The purchaser must have based upon the ability and decision of the vendor. For an instance if a person asked another person that he require a car for doing a tour. Seller provides a car which is not appropriate for tour and travel purpose. Violation of that implied condition is found in this case.

On the other hand, simple mentioning of picky trade identification by the purchaser does not denote that he has efficient for the manufactured goods of that business name merely. He might still depend on the ability and conclusion of the vendor. The seller has to be a trader of the type of goods transacted.

Section 14 of the sales of Goods Act states that it is the implied condition attached to any of the sale of goods transaction is that the product must be inconformity with the with the goods as the purpose of the contract of sale. It was in every sell of goods that the buyer must deliver the gods which are fit for the purpose of the seller. For determining the satisfactory level it is obvious that a reasonable man can find those goods are fit for the purpose.

The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 is enacted to controls the contracts by confining the process and validity of a number of contract stipulations. It expands to almost all appearances of agreement. The provisions expand equally in case of definite contract provisions and notice that are set to compose a contractual responsibility. This Act provided the protection to the party in case of unfair terms applied in the contract.

The contract is a written form of agreement which after conformity and assent by the parties become valid and the parties to the contract are required to maintain the terms of the contract. The Act provides protection against those unauthorised contract terms which are applicable to a contract. If a party, put those terms on the contract that will treated as invalid terms under the application of this Act. For instance we can provide section 6(2), which gives the provision that implied conditions as to depiction, excellence or illustration  as mentioned under the provisions of Sale of Goods Act 1979 in section 13 to 15  never be disqualified against a customer.

In this case Bob ordered the door frame for this house and that should be made of good quality oak wood. In this case, though he did not specify that the dor are for his own house but it is very much known to the buyer that the frame has to hold heavy glasses. In this aspect as an experienced seller he can assume that a good quality of good is required.

Application of the rule in the factual background

In this connection Bob can claim the remedy against the buyer because buyer knew the purpose of the door frames.

Secondly, the buyer ordered for supreme quality seasoned woods. The woods are not property seasoned. The buyer could not examine the quality of the wood at the time of the purchase of the door frame. Afterward it was found that the woods are not in conformity to that level. So this is the situation where the seller violates the terms regarding the fitness of the goods.

In this situation also the purchaser has the right to sue the seller.

Thirdly, it was fund that the contract was for providing oak but he supplied bad quality wood which creates the entire problem. In this case the goods are not match with the goods of description. So this is the direct violation of the terms of sale of goods.

In this case also case also Bob has the right to sue.

Fourthly, the purchaser needs to spend money because of the cracks on the door frames. All this things are not going to take place if the goods are in conformity with the description. So in this case the Bob has the right to claim compensation from the seller.

Finally, the argument raised by the seller is that the clause 3 of the terms and condition provides him relief from all kind of charges. So in this occasion it can be claimed that this kind of terms has no validity under the law. The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 prohibits those kinds of terms in the contract. It expressly provides that the right of the consumer cannot be waived out by those kinds of unfair terms. It harms the right of the consumer. The provision of the Act expressly provide that the provisions mentioned under section 14 about the implied condition in regards to the fitness of the goods can be by passed by the seller by putting the clause in a contract . These clauses are not valid clause so the buyer has the right to sue the seller. In this case also Bob has the right to sue because the clause 3 in the standard terms of contract is not at all a valid term and has no legal enforceability in the eye of law.


After all the discussion of the law, fact and the legal application on the factual background we can conclude certain matters in this case. This case provide a guidelines that though the contract which is executed between the parties, it become valid and the parties are bound to obey those rules and terms of the contract. But if the terms of the contract as fall under the provision of the unfair contract terms then the parties are not bound to obey that term.

In this situation we can conclude that the buyer Bob has the right to sue the seller because the terms with covers the relief to the seller is void under the law. So a void clause cannot provide any relief to the seller from his responsibility. In this case Bob has the right to sue for the breach of the contract terms because the goods are not in accordance to the purpose of the buyer and for which the buyer suffered the loss.


  • Bridge M, The Sale Of Goods (Oxford University Press 2009)
  • Fridman G, Sale Of Goods In Canada (Thomson Carswell 2004)
  • Koffman L and Macdonald E, The Law Of Contract (Oxford University Press 2010)
  •, 'Sale Of Goods Act 1979' (2015) accessed 22 July 2015
  • Micklitz H, 'Reforming European Unfair Terms Legislation In Consumer Contracts' (2010) 6 European Review of Contract Law
  • Nebbia P, Unfair Contract Terms In European Law (Hart 2007)
  • Orlando S, 'The Use Of Unfair Contractual Terms As An Unfair Commercial Practice' (2011) 7 European Review of Contract Law
  • O'Sullivan J and Hilliard J, The Law Of Contract (Oxford University Press 2006)
  • Peel E and Treitel G, The Law Of Contract (Sweet & Maxwell 2007)
  • Sealy L, 'Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977' (1978) 37 Cam. Law. J.
  • 'Unfair Contract Terms Directive' (1995) 11 Computer Law & Security Review
  • Whittaker S, 'Unfair Contract Terms, Unfair Prices And Bank Charges' (2011) 74 The Modern Law Review
  • Priest v Last (1903) 2 KB
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