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George Mitchell v Finney Lock Seeds

[1983] 2 All ER 737

Case summary last updated at 02/01/2020 10:04 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case George Mitchell v Finney Lock Seeds

D sold seed to P subject to 4 conditions: (1) that if the seeds sold or agreed to be sold did not comply with the express terms of the contract or proved defective in varietal purity the liability of the defendant vendors was limited to their replacement or to refund of the price paid, (2) for the total exclusion of all liability for any loss or damage arising from the use of any seeds supplied save their replacement or price refund, (3) for the exclusion of any express or implied condition or warranty, statutory or otherwise, and they stated (4) that the price of seeds supplied was based upon the stated limitations upon liability. Due to the use of dodgy seed supplied, P lost £60,000 in repairing damage caused by use of wrong seed, even though price charged was only £200. P sued D for damages. 
 
HL held that the limitation terms were unenforceable since under para 11, schedule 1 of s.55 of Sale of Goods Act (NOW REPEALED but similar to schedule 2 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977) the court could void terms, reliance upon which would be “unfair and unreasonable”. 
 
Lord Bridge: An appellate court should refrain from interfering with a lower court’s interpretation of “fair and reasonable” unless “plainly and obviously wrong”.

George Mitchell v Finney Lock Seeds crops up in following areas of law