About construction of contracts (contract term)
1. Drum’s cow was offered for sale at auction. One of the clauses contained in the auction catalogue stated that ‘no animal is … sold with a warranty unless specifically mentioned at the time of offering, and no warranty so given shall have any legal effect or force unless the terms thereof appear on the purchaser’s account’. Bidding was slow because of the cow’s poor appearance. In a bid to get things moving, he said: ‘There is nothing wrong with her… I will guarantee her in every respect’. Harp, on hearing this, successfully bid for the cow only to find when he got her home that she had TB. She died shortly thereafter.
Will the warranty in the catalogue protect Drum if Harp brings an action against him for compensation?
2. Michael took his white formal suit and his wife’s green silk dress to ‘Quik’nCheep dry-cleaners’. He had been getting his dry cleaning done here for several years. He was handed a docket and, as usual, he placed it in his wallet without reading it. When he went to collect the clothing they could not find his suit and his wife’s dress was badly stained. One of the shop assistants said that they had handed over a white formal suit to a woman this morning who said she had lost her ticket. No explanation was offered about the stain.
When Michael demanded compensation he was referred to a clause on the docket which said ‘We are not be liable for any loss or damage to clothing left for cleaning howsoever such loss or damage may be caused’. The manager pointed out the large sign at the back of the shop which had the same words. The sign had clearly been there for some time. Michael protested that he had never read either the docket or the sign.
Advise Michael whether he is able to sue for compensation.
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