Bell Lax acted for the defendant in this Court of Appeal case regarding the Sale of Goods Act.
Contrary to the decision at first instance, the Court of Appeal found that although there was significant overlap between sections 14(2) and 14(3) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, they were designed to perform different functions. In particular, it was the function of section 14(3), not section 14(2), to impose a particular obligation tailored to the particular circumstances of the case. Section 14(3) represents a more subjective test.
This case therefore established an important precedent. It was shown that although the defendant did and could rely upon the claimant’s skill and judgment as to the intrinsic qualities of the boilers, he was not entitled to rely upon them in relation to the question whether the boilers were suitable for installation in the particular flats; such reliance would have been unreasonable. The boilers' impact on the flats' EER lay within the expertise of the defendant and his advisers and not within that of the claimant or the manufacturers.