Business Law

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Qn 1: Whether James can hold the Happy Holiday Hotel for the loss of his property under the common law? The issue of this case will be whether James can hold Happy Holiday Hotel responsible for the loss of his property notwithstanding the exemption clause found in the hotel rooms. Under the Exemption Clauses in Common Law, it states that in order for this clause to be valid, the clause must be included in the contract when the contract is made.

If there is any attempt to include it in after the contract has been made, the clause will be deemed as not valid. Based on The Exemption Clauses in Common Law, although the hotel have displayed many signs stating that “Management will not be responsible for any valuables lost if these are not given to the front desk for safe-keeping”, the hotel should not assume that James is actually aware about the signs although he have been visiting Happy Holiday Hotel whenever he comes to Singapore for business.

James can hold the hotel responsible for the loss for his property, because there was no evidence to prove that James is aware and acknowledge on the clause stating “The Management will not be responsible for valuables lost if these are not given to the front desk for safe-keeping”. This also means that in order for the clause to be valid, the hotel should bring this clause to James attention by including it into the contract. The hotel by not doing so or only to include the clause in the contract after James have sign and make his payment, the clause will be not valid.

Therefore, James could hold the hotel responsible for his loss of property as the hotel are not able to bring out any prove indicating that James is aware of the clause and there are also no written agreement showing that James have agreed to the clause. Qn 2: If James can hold the Hotel responsible for the injury he sustained at the Hotel. The issue for this question is whether James can hold Happy Holiday Hotel responsible for the injury he sustained during his stay.

Under The Law of Tort, Occupier’s Liability, an occupier is someone who has occupation or control over a land or structure, owe a Common Law, Duty of Care in ensuring that anybody who come on to their premises is not injured. There is also an Act which can be use to defend for Occupier’s Liability which will be The Contributory Negligence Act. Under this Act, if the someone’s injury is due to his own negligence, he would not be able to request for full damages from another party who cause this accident For this ase of James, The Law of Tort under Occupier’s Liability, James could hold Happy Holiday Hotel responsible for his injuries. This is because under this law, the hotel has the responsibility in ensuring that James is safe from injuries during the stay in the hotel. Based on the case has also shown that the hotel has not been doing regular maintenance check or put up any warning sign to inform their customer that the door handle is faulty.

Hence according to the Duty of Care, the hotel’s negligence had causes James injuries. On the other hand, the hotel could defend themselves by bring up The Contributory Negligence Act, because the injuries of James is partially due to his own negligence act by attempting to escape from the trapped cubicle by getting onto the toilet seat then onto the toilet holder which it gave way, causes James to fall backward and injured his head.

Referencing to a case of Sayers v Harlow UDC (1958), a 36 years-old woman have paid to use a public toilet, after which she have found herself being trapped inside a cubicle which had no door handle. She had attempted to climb out of the trapped cubicle by stepping first on the toilet and then onto the toilet-roll holder which it gave way, causing her to be injured. As she had perform a dangerous and negligence act, and partially causes her own injuries, the court held that the damages that would be reduce by 25% since the injuries is partially due to Sayers own negligence.

In conclusion, James could hold Happy Holiday Hotel responsible for his injuries because the hotel did not exercise The Duty of Care to ensure James safety during his stay in the hotel only to a certain extent, as he had also contributed partially to the result of him being injured, by trying to escaping from a trapped cubicle in a dangerous manner. Hence, the hotel would not be fully responsible for James injuries. Qn 3: The nature of sales transactions governing the sales of goods and the relevant statute James can turn to for help in cancelling the contract and recovering his money.

The issue of this question is James had purchase a laptop from a salesman in Sim Lim Square. During the purchase, he had informed the salesman on the requirement that he needs for the laptop. The salesman knowing James is not technical proficient person, he had sold James a laptop which is an older version as compare to what James wanted at a much higher price. Under the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, a consumer who has purchase a products or services involving an unfair practice may bring legal action against the supplier.

Any supplier who have made any false claim of the product or services as a result causing the consumer have been deceived or misled will be constitute as an unfair practice. It will also be constitute as an unfair practice if the supplier have taken advantages of a consumer when the supplier knows that the consumer is not in position to protect his own interest or not able to understand the product or services well enough.

In this case of James, he had explained to the salesman the exact requirements he needed for his laptop. Knowing that James is not an especially technically proficient person, the salesman had misled James to purchase a much older version of laptop and charging him at an overcharged price. In this case, James had been deceived and misled to make the purchase of the older version laptop under the false claim of the salesman.

Under section 5, paragraph 3 of the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, James may take legal action against the supplier and if the court find that the supplier indeed engage in unfair practice, the court may order the salesman to refund the money that James have paid. Referencing to a case from Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) (Case #3). The customer Ms Mary had bought an automatic watch from a sale. She later found out that the watch had stopped working, even after tuning the watch, the hands of the watch did not move.

She had brought the watch back to the shop for repair and to her surprise she found out that it was actually a quartz watch. The sales person has misrepresented the watch specification to Ms Mary which she had specifically wanted an automatic watch to both sales person and technician. Based on the Consumers Protection (Fair Trading) Act, the sales person had misrepresented the product information causes the Ms Mary to be misled to make the purchase of the wrong product, the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) have represent Ms Mary to request for a full refund of the watch she purchase.

In conclusion for the case of James, the salesman had taken advantage of James knowing that James is not technically proficient. Leading James to make the purchase in a state of mind believing that the laptop consists the requirement that he need. Due to the misled of the salesman, James will be able to cancel the contract and recovering his money for the purchase of the laptop.

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