I am doing a distant learning course that involves a law module but am struggling with where to start with the following issue involving damages claims.
Could a company claim for damages when their company lost revenue from being closed for repairs which were needed as a result of a builder using inappropriate materials on the building?
Will the sales of good Act have any relivence or is this purley for products? I wonder if the fitness for purpose claus is on the right tracks?
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Damages Claim watch
- Thread Starter
- 27-09-2011 20:35
- 27-09-2011 21:01
Generally builders provide a service rather than goods. Accordingly the relevant statutory implied term is s13 Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 which says it is an implied term that service providers acting in the course of a business will act with reasonable care and skill.
However from what you've posted it doesn't sound like this is the central issue of the question. Indeed universities which do not teach the Sale of Goods Act or SGSA on their initial contract courses still ask plenty of problem questions about things like builders using inappropriate materials.
When answering a contract claim you need to think carefully about what is required at each step, broadly the steps are:
--> Is there a contract between the claimant and defendant?
--> What are the relevant terms?
--> Have those terms been breached?
--> Did the breach cause the claimant loss?
--> What remedies are available: often damages is the only appropriate remedy in which case you need to think about remoteness and how the damages would be calculated, but sometimes an injunction or specific performance may be options.
Of course you would need to establish the relevant terms (s13 SGSA would be a good one to go for if its on your course, there may be other terms either express or implied). You would also need to establish that the term has been breached. However this does not mean that the company can claim damages: you would also need to establish that the breach caused the claimant loss and that the loss was not too remote (i.e. the two limbs of Hadley v Baxendale).
I haven't seen the full facts of the question, but from what you've said it sounds like there was clearly a contract; there would clearly have been implied terms of care and skill; and the materials were clearly inappropriate. If this is the case you still need to mention and think about the first three steps but shouldn't focus on them as they are not in issue. There is no need to write an essay about the Sale of Goods Act or SGSA, for example, if there aren't any controversial or difficult issues relating to what terms are implied into the contract.