Merchantable Quality in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Henry Kendall & Sons (A Firm) v William Lillico & Sons Ltd and Others
    • House of Lords
    • 08 May 1968

    If the description is a familiar one it may be that in practice only one quality of goods answers that description —then that quality and only that quality is merchantable quality. Or it may be that various qualities of goods are commonly sold under that description—then it is not disputed that the lowest quality commonly so sold is what is meant by merchantable quality: it is commercially saleable under that description.

    If the buyer wants goods that are suitable for each one of several purposes he must make that clear to the seller and make it clear that he is relying upon the seller to let him have goods that would be suitable for each one of the purposes. If the buyer merely orders goods by description all that he can expect is that he will get goods that correspond with the description and goods of such a quality that they could be used for one of the purposes for which such goods arc normally used.

  • Aswan Engineering Establishment Company (M/S) v Lupdine Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 16 Jul 1986

    In order to comply with that requirement, the goods did not have to be suitable for every purpose within a range of purposes for which goods were normally bought under that description. It was sufficient that they were suitable for one or more such purposes without abatement of price since, if they were, they were commercially saleable under that description.

  • Brown (B. S.) & Son Ltd v Craiks Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 03 Mar 1970

    The assumption is that the goods are merchantable for a secondary purpose and unless the price is what has been described as a "throw away price" the discrepancy sheds little or no light on the question of merchantable quality. I cannot, for my part, see that the question of latent defect makes any difference.

  • Cammell Laird & Company Ltd v Manganese Bronze and Brass Company Ltd
    • House of Lords
    • 27 Mar 1934

  • Bominflot Bunkergesellschaft fur Mineralole mbH & Company v Petroplus Marketing AG (The Mercini Lady)
    • Court of Appeal
    • 19 Oct 2010

    On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to read our exclusion clause as not being intended to cover the exclusion of the statutory implications of satisfactory quality (the new merchantable quality) and fitness for purpose. Mr Edey's reference to the little known or exemplified section 14(4) cannot realistically be considered as the exclusive subject matter of the clause's language about Strictly speaking the description may be thought to be found in clause 3, headed “Product”.

  • Rogers v Parish (Scarborough) Ltd
    • Court of Appeal
    • 05 Nov 1986

    "(a) as regards defects specifically drawn to the buyer's attention before the contract is made; or

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