Contract Law Notes - Introduction to Sale of Goods Act 1979
In these bite size contract law notes we provide a brief introduction to the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Ideal for exam revision and general reference.
Introduction to SGA; Correspondence with description
Introduction to SGA
- The Code:
Bank of England v Vagliano Bros  AC 107, 144-5
- Sale and other contracts:
Rowland v Divall  2 KB 500
(S (innocently) sells stolen car; B can recover price in full despite extensive use)
s 2(4): Specific goods with immediate passing of property: Sale
s 2(5): Unascertained/future goods, or passing of property deferred: Agreement to sell
Other contracts under which owner ship or possession of goods passes:
Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, ss 1-5A (contracts for transfer of property in goods); ss 6-10A (hire); ss 12-16 (services) ( for s 13: see BBF 446)
Robinson v Graves  1 KB 579 (portrait)
Cammell Laird & Co Ltd v Manganese Bronze & Brass Co Ltd  AC 402 (propellor designed and built for particular ship)
Greaves v Baynham Miekle (BBF 3rd 392) (structural engineer employed to design ‘package deal’ warehouse for storage of large drums of oil did not allow for vibrations caused by stacker trucks accelerating and braking, floor disintegrated)
Sale of goods problems that contract or law must deal with:
2. The price
3. The delivery date
4. Payment details
5. Defining the exact goods*
7. Fitness for purpose*
8. Contingencies: affecting seller, buyer or goods themselves*
9. Seller does not own goods
10. Time of transfer of ownership*
12. Extent of liability
13. Can the parties agree to change the obligations or remedies?
14. Responsibility of other parties in chain/network*
15. Longer-term contracts: variations to terms.
Defining the goods
(1) Express terms
(a) warranty or mere representation?
Heilbut Symons & Co v Buckleton  AC 30
Bannerman v White (1861) 10 CBns 844 (noted BBF 324)
Oscar Chess Ltd v Williams  1 WLR 370 (BBF 324)
Dick Bentley Productions Ltd v Harold Smith Motors Ltd  2 All ER 65 (BBF 326)
(b) parol evidence rule
“Parol evidence cannot be admitted to add to, vary or contradict a deed or other written instrument”
Birch v Paramount Estates (1956) EG 396
Contract partly written, partly oral
Evans v Merzario (BBF 185)
Representative of forwarding agent, during courtesy visit, informed machinery importers that in future containers would be used in place of crates. Importers were concerned that sea water might enter container; rep. assured them that their containers would be carried below decks. Subsequent written contract did not refer to this and container placed on deck from where lost overboard.
Law Commission Report No.154 (1986), The Parol Evidence Rule (McK 336; BBF 350)
(2) Implied terms
Correspondence with description: s.13(1)
Re Moore & Co Ltd and Landauer & Co Ltd  2 KB 519
Tinned fruit packed in 30's instead of 24’s
(1) What if seller indicates that doesn’t know what goods are?
Harlingdon and Leinster Enterprises Ltd v Chris Hull Fine Art Ltd  3 WLR 13 (M)
Painting "by Munter"; but sellers made it clear they knew nothing about Munter.
(2) Is every statement about the goods part of the description?
T & J Harrison v Knowles & Foster  1 KB 608 (M)
Ships described as 460 tons
Beale v Taylor  1 WLR 1193
‘1961 Triumph Herald’; made of two half-cars welded together
(3) What if merely a name for the goods?
Reardon-Smith Lines v Hansen-Tangen  1 WLR 989 (M)
Osaka hull number 354; not in fact built in Osaka yard, as known to both parties
How precise must compliance be?
Arcos v Ronaasen  AC 470 (noted McK 942; BBF 429)
1/2" barrel staves; buyer could reject staves 9/16ths thick, though perfectly good for making barrels.
Peter Darlington Partners Ltd v Gosho Co Ltd  1 Lloyds Rep 149
‘Pure’ canary seed
May still be within description though defective
Ashington Piggeries v Christopher Hill  AC 441 (M for seminar 2)
Animal food compounded to buyers' formula fed to mink, which were killed by DMNA in the herring meal
Pinnock Bros v Lewis & Peat Ltd  1 KB 690 (BBF 984)
Copra cake contaminated with castor beans
Effect of breach?
13(1A), s 15A (see lecture 4)
Correspondence with sample: s 15.