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contract law

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Charlotte Jones Group 15. Thursday 4pm Non Assessed Coursework Robert and his wife, Lucy, decide to take dance classes at a local Salsa dance club. They used to go to ballroom dance classes at the same club some years ago. Because Salsa dancing has become so popular, they book the classes in advance. On the back of the receipt a printed clause says "For terms and conditions please see notices in the club". On the inside of the club door a large notice is pinned up. The notice reads, "The club will not accept responsibility for any loss suffered by customers". At their first dance class, the dance instructor, Paul, who also owns the club, demonstrates an energetic step and falls over, knocking Robert to the ground. Robert's arm is broken and his Rolex watch is damaged beyond repair. When Lucy goes to the cloakroom to get her coat, she finds her coat has been stolen. Advise Robert and Lucy as to any contractual claim they may have. I will begin by looking at the contractual claim Lucy has in respect to the loss of her coat. Lucy's claim could be based most suitably on the area of Contract law known as incorporation, and perhaps negligence. Dealing first with incorporation. For a clause to form part of a contract it must be effectively incorporated into it. ...read more.


be reasonable, and according to Lord Justice Scrutton would be rendered ineffective, "If a person is under legal liability and wishes to get rid of it, he can only do so by using clear words". Lucy could rely on the rulings in such cases as Overseas Medical supplies Ltd V Orient Transport Service Ltd (1999) where it was held the clauses in the contract were invalid, as they didn't pass the test of reasonableness, due to the wording used. The ambiguity of the word loss would surely be rendered unreasonable due to the many connotations it boasts. Lucy could further question the reasonableness of the clause by referring to the guidelines printed in section 2 determining reasonableness, of which one reads a) "The strength of the bargaining positions of the relative parties to each other." There is no doubt the dance club were in a more powerful position than Lucy or Robert and this further renders the clause to be unreasonable and ineffective within the contract. Lucy could choose to adopt either incorporation or negligence as part of her claim against the club, although the more suitable would probably be that of incorporation as it would be difficult to prove the coat was stolen due to negligence on part of the club. Like Lucy, Robert too could also claim against the club based on the concept of incorporation. ...read more.


Section 2 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1997 covers the issue of negligence and states that negligence means the breach of (b) any common law duty to take reasonable care or exercise reasonable skill. From this it can be inferred that Paul has broken the common law duty to take reasonable care are therefore he acted in negligence. Further to this although the club may have intended to remove liability for personal injuries covered in the word 'loss', in accordance with section 2(1) of UCTA, even if the word 'loss' had been deemed to sufficiently cover the act of negligence, Robert would still be in a position to make a claim. Section 2(1) reads "(1) A person cannot by reference to any contract term or to a notice given to persons generally or to particular persons exclude or restrict his liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence." Robert's broken arm was caused by negligence on the part of the dance instructor; therefore the club is liable irrespective of any exclusion clause it might have put up. Robert is in a strong position to claim against the club using both negligence and construction, with both being equally weighted arguments. Although he is in a less strong position to claim for the damage to his watch because it can be argued having danced previously he was aware of the dangers of wearing breakable jewellery whilst doing such an energetic sport. However, if he were to claim for his watch also he would be best also claiming based on negligence. ...read more.

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