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Ruxley Electronics V. Forsyth Notes

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This is an extract of our Ruxley Electronics V. Forsyth document, which we sell as part of our Commercial Remedies BCL Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.

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RUXLEY ELECTRONICS V. FORSYTH FACTS My Lords, the respondent entered into a contract with the appellants for the construction by them of a swimming pool at his house in Kent. The contract provided for the pool having a maximum depth of 7 feet 6 inches but, as built, its maximum depth was only 6 feet. The respondents sought to recover as damages for breach of contract the cost of demolition of the existing pool and construction of a new one of the required depth. The trial judge made the following findings which are relevant to this appeal: (1) the pool as constructed was perfectly safe to dive into; (2) there was no evidence that the shortfall in depth had decreased the value of the pool; (3) the only practicable method of achieving a pool of the required depth would be to demolish the existing pool and reconstruct a new one at a cost of PS21,560; (4) he was not satisfied that the respondent intended to build a new pool at such a cost; (5) in addition such cost would be wholly disproportionate to the disadvantage of having a pool of a depth of only 6 feet as opposed to 7 feet 6 inches and it would therefore be unreasonable to carry out the works; and (6) that the respondent was entitled to damages for loss of amenity in the sum of PS2,500. HOLDING LORD JAUNCEY Reasonableness I take the example suggested during argument by my noble and learned friend, Lord Bridge of Harwich. A man contracts for the building of a house and specifies that one of the lower courses of brick should be blue. The builder uses yellow brick instead. In all other respects the house conforms to the contractual specification. To replace the yellow bricks with blue would involve extensive demolition and reconstruction at a very large cost. It would clearly be unreasonable to award to the owner the cost of reconstructing because his loss was not the necessary cost of reconstruction of his house, which was entirely adequate for its design purpose, but merely the lack of aesthetic pleasure which he might have derived

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