LAW 1509 Commercial Transactions: Potential Legal Liability



Lara entertains frequently at her home in Manly. She and her husband Tim, have their own business and find it useful to invite clients, suppliers and professional advisers for dinner to get to know them and to further relationships with them. With limited scope for entertaining during 2020 due to COVID, Lara took the opportunity to redecorate.

Lara ordered new upholstery covers and curtains from Kinky Kovers Pty Limited (Kinky). She made it clear that she wanted the best quality material, and their best machinists, regardless of cost. The material (as per samples), style, and measurements were agreed by email on 4 May 2020. The quote sent by email contained separate amounts for materials, the making of upholstery and curtains, and installation, as follows.

Item                                                                                              $

Material for lounge and chairs                                                4,040.00

Material for velvet curtains and lining

Living (3), dining (3), study (2)… 8 curtains                   5,600.00

Upholstery measurement, making and fitting                       2,280.00

Curtain making                                                                       1,875.00

Installation of curtains                                                              480.00

TOTAL                                                                                       14,275.00

Lara accepted the quote by email and paid the invoice in full on 10 May 2020.

The re-covering of the lounge and chairs was completed by 15th July 2020. However, the curtains were delayed. In September 2020, Kinky advised that the curtains were being made by a seamstress in Perth and when they were received from her, it would not be possible for anyone to attend for installation, due to COVID restrictions and fears for the health of staff. They posted the curtains to Lara in late October 2020, and said she would have to install them herself.

Lara installed the curtains two weeks after receiving them for a cost of $410. The first night after installation, she was horrified to see an ugly line on one of the curtain drops in the living room, whenever the curtains were closed. She immediately insisted that Kinky (1) re-supply a replacement drop to match the rest of the curtains at their cost and refund the installation fee of $480, or (2) resupply all of the living and dining room curtains if it is not possible to match the one replaced and refund $480, or (3) refund $4,680.00.


Advise Kinky on:

(A) its potential legal liability (if any) with respect to these curtains.

(B) what action it could take (if any) to limit potential legal liability in future similar quotations of this type.

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