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Shanklin Pier Ltd v Detel Products Ltd [1951] 2 KB 854; [1951] 2 All ER 471

By Oxbridge Law TeamUpdated 28/05/2024 01:39

Judgement for the case Shanklin Pier Ltd v Detel Products Ltd


  • An express warranty is a specific promise from the seller about the quality, condition, or performance of a product.

    • It can be verbal or written, and if the product doesn't meet these terms, the buyer can seek remedies like repairs, replacements, or refunds.

  • A breach of warranty occurs when a product doesn't meet the terms of an express or implied warranty.

    • This can happen if a product is defective or fails to meet expectations.

    • When a breach occurs, buyers can seek remedies from the seller, including repair, replacement, or compensation.

  • The plaintiff's right of action allows a buyer to sue a seller if there's a breach of warranty or other contractual issues.

    • This right provides a way for buyers to seek compensation or other remedies when a seller fails to fulfill their obligations.

    • It is an essential part of consumer protection, ensuring sellers are accountable for their commitments.


  • Shanklin Pier Ltd., ("Plaintiff)" owned a pier on the Isle of Wight. Detel Products Ltd., ("Defendants") were manufacturers of paint.

    • The Plaintiffs had suffered damage during World War II and required repairs, including repainting.

    • They contracted with another party to conduct these repairs, with specifications for the type of paint to be used.

    • However, the Plaintiffs reserved the right to change the specifications.

  • On July 22, 1946, a representative of the Defendant company visited Shanklin to promote a specific type of paint, D.M.U., to the Plaintiffs.

    • During this meeting, the representative presented a pamphlet and verbally made assurances about the paint's quality and durability.

    • He stated that the paint would be suitable for the pier's repainting, that it would be impervious to dampness, prevent corrosion, and have a lifespan of 7 to 10 years.

    • Based on these representations, the Plaintiffs altered their contract with their repair contractor to specify the use of D.M.U. paint.

    • Following this change in the contract, the repair contractors purchased the D.M.U. paint from the Defendants and applied it to the pier.

    • However, the paint proved to be unsuitable, lasting only about three months before failing.

  • The Plaintiffs filed a claim against the Defendants, alleging that the Defendant's representations amounted to an express warranty about the quality and durability of the paint. They further claimed that they suffered financial losses because the paint failed to meet the assured standards.

  • Due to the breach of warranty, the Plaintiffs claimed additional expenses for repairs and repainting, totaling 4,127 pounds.


  • In the matter, it was found that the Defendants, Detel Products Ltd., had provided an express warranty to the Plaintiffs, Shanklin Pier Ltd., regarding the suitability and longevity of their paint, known as D.M.U.

    • The Plaintiffs relied on this warranty when they specified the use of the D.M.U. paint for repainting their pier.

    • The contractors purchased and applied the D.M.U. paint as specified, but it proved unsuitable and failed within a few months.

  • The court held that even though there was no direct contract of sale between the Plaintiffs and the Defendants, an enforceable express warranty could still arise.

    • This was based on the consideration that the Plaintiffs caused a third party, in this case, the contractors, to buy the warranted goods.

  • Given that the Defendants' warranty was breached, and the Plaintiffs suffered damages as a result, the court awarded judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs, allowing them to recover damages from the Defendants for the breach of warranty.


  • The case shows the significance of express warranties in business transactions.

    • It demonstrates that even if there's no direct contractual relationship between a manufacturer and a consumer, a warranty can still be binding if a manufacturer makes specific representations about a product's quality, condition, or performance that influence a purchasing decision. 

    • In this case verbal and written assurances about the durability of their D.M.U. paint formed an express warranty.

    • When the paint failed to meet the assured standards, Shanklin Pier Ltd. was able to claim damages for breach of warranty, despite not having a direct contract with Detel. 

  • This outcome reinforces the idea that manufacturers must be careful with their promises, as they can be held accountable for any breach of warranty that causes a consumer financial loss.

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