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Sale of Goods Act 1979 - Fit for Purpose


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19 December 2011

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 ('SOGA') allows terms to be expressly or impliedly incorporated into contracts. Breach of either express or implied terms by any party to the contract will amount to a breach of those terms and may give rise to remedies. This article focuses of section 14(3) of SOGA (fit for purpose).

A dispute in relation to defective goods may fall under s14 (3) of SOGA, unless this has been effectively excluded. This makes it an implied condition that the goods supplied by the seller should be fit for the purpose for which the buyer made known to the seller, for example, prior to the contract being made the seller confirmed in writing that the goods would be fit for purpose.

If the goods are found not to be fit for purpose, an implied condition has been breached.


A breach of the implied condition of fit for purpose would give the buyer the right to reject the goods. However the right to reject the goods can be lost in two ways:

1. if after a lapse of reasonable time the buyer retains the goods without notifying the seller; or

2. if the breach is so slight and it is a commercial buyer, it would be unreasonable for him to reject the goods.


Irrespective of whether or not the buyer has lost the right to reject the goods, breach of condition will allow the buyer to claim damages in relation to the products, provided these damages are not too remote.

Hadley v Baxendale

Damages for loss of usual trading profit as a result of defective goods/ delay etc would come within the first limb of Hadley v Baxendale, since they are within the type of loss which would naturally flow from the breach. However, a lucrative contract would come within the second limb and would only be recoverable if the buyer had brought the existence of this contract to the attention of the seller at the time the contract was made.

Aneela Akbar is a trainee solicitor and can be contacted at

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-04-12 12:46:34 in Legal Articles

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