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Consumer protection - This case will require looking at each grievance individually and applying the law as best as possible to each part.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

Dealing with this case will require looking at each grievance individually and applying the law as best as possible to each part. Firstly it must be established who the rights are for. It can be said the Avril purchased the camera with a view to giving it to Alan. Until recently that second category of person (the person receiving the gift), would have had a difficult time recovering compensation because they would have had no rights under the contract of sale and they would have had to prove that the manufacturer was negligent before they could get any compensation. This has now changed due to the passing of the Consumer Protection Act of 1987, which makes manufacturers strictly liable for defects in their products. In Donoghue v Stevenson [1932] AC 562, a bottle of ginger beer was bought for another person. This bottle was found to contain a decomposed snail, which in turn made the person very ill. Lord Aktin stated that a manufacturer of product owes a duty to the ultimate consumer to take reasonable care in the preparation of the product to avoid causing foreseeable harm, therefore the House of Lords held that the manufacturer of the beer was liable for the injuries caused to someone who drank the beer even though they had not purchased the beer. This was also a major milestone in the evolution of the law of negligence. It may not necessarily be only the manufacturer that has a case to answer for as regards to Alan receiving injury to his hand.

Middle

Section 14(3) of the act implies ' if the buyer makes known to the seller a particular purpose for the goods, the goods must be fit for that purpose unless the buyer did not rely on the sellers skill and judgement'. This is related to Priest v Last [1903] 2KB 148 where a hot water bottle was bought. The court held that the bottle had to be fit for its obvious purpose of warming a bed. Since the bottle burst, it was not fit its for normal purpose. The fitness for purpose factor is important where the buyer has special or unusual requirements. This unlikely to apply in this case since the product is only a camera and unlikely to be used for any other purpose than to take photographs. This could only apply if something other than a film was being into the camera of the wrong type of batteries were being used but that is not the case. The manager of the chemist pointed to the small print of the camera when the complaint was made. There may a case to answer for in this instance since the Unfair Contract Terms Act of 1977 which provides a comprehensive set of rules which regulate both the use of exclusion clauses in contracts and the use of non-contractual notices. The exclusion clause may be contained in an unsigned document such as a ticket or a notice. In such a case, reasonable and sufficient notice of the existence of the exclusion clause should be given.

Conclusion

He launched an action to recover payment for the work he had done. The Court of Appeal confirmed he was not entitled to payment since he had not fulfilled his part of the contract. According to this, the very least Alan can expect from the photographs is a refund since the chemist did not complete his part of the contract and Alan, by making a payment did fulfil his side. The chemist having accepted payment agreed to the contract. Conclusion It is perfectly reasonable for Alan to take this case to court as even though he did not purchase the camera, he is still viewed in the eyes of the law as the ultimate consumer. He was injured in the process of using the camera even though he was maintaining it for its usual purpose at the time rather than using it for its purpose. It may be more sensible to bring a case against the chemist since it is they initially who are failing to give satisfaction by not offering some kind of compensation for the injury or replacing the camera. The chemist has not addressed the injury to Alan as the exclusion clause (legal or not) on mentions liability for loss or damage rather than injury caused by damage. It may not be a good idea to introduce the complaint about the photographs as it may dilute the case from what is the main objective and that is getting compensation for the injury cause but the camera. It may be an idea to only use it as a back-up to show how Alan-the customer has been treated by a seller.

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