Question 1 (15 marks. Suggested word limit 1,000) Julie renovated the kitchen in her rental property...

Question 1 (15 marks. Suggested word limit 1,000) Julie renovated the kitchen in her rental property at Byron Bay, New South Wales, by the addition of a new oven, dish washing machine, and some minor electrical work. She is a nurse by profession and not experienced in electrical work, plumbing or renovation. Julie visited her local Global Hardware store at Tweed Heads to purchase the materials she needed. At the store she found a DIY (Do It Yourself) instruction booklet produced by Global Hardware which specified that the oven needed to be on its own (a separate) electrical circuit. Julie found the electrical circuit equipment for $1,000, but was concerned at the cost. She noticed it was much cheaper if she added a power point to plug the oven into on an existing electrical circuit. Julie approached Matty, an employee of Global Hardware, who wore a badge that said 'Expert Builder' and asked his advice. She explained that she was renovating a kitchen and wanted to know which electrical circuit would be sufficient. Matty advised: "No you definitely don’t need $1,000 circuit or an electrician to install it. That DIY booklet is out of date. Just buy a power plug and some wiring and attach it an exciting circuit." Julie followed Matty advice, purchased a power plug and some wiring and attached it to an exciting circuit. She put in the new dishwasher and a new power plug, and attached it to a water supply and drain. She followed the instructions in the DIY booklet (except for putting in a new circuit). The total cost, including materials, was $7,500. Two weeks after the finalisation of the kitchen renovation, Julie’s tenants moved back in. They started cooking, and the stove blew up and caught fire. The whole kitchen was damaged. The tenants suffered injuries which required out of pocket medical costs of $25,000. The cost to repair the kitchen was $15,000. Julie seeks your advice on the legal issues. Do NOT discuss contract law, insurance law, local government regulations, or the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW).

a) Does Julie have a case against Matty and / or Global Hardware in negligence? If so, explain why.

b) What is the amount of damages Julie and her tenants are entitled to claim?

c) What difference would it have made if Matty had said instead: "No, you probably don’t need to put in a whole new electrical circuit and wiring. It should be sufficient for your requirements to put in a new power plug and new wiring. However, you should not rely solely on my advice. My previous job was as a glazier. You really should speak to a qualified electrician.”

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Yes they have a case against Global hardware as matty was an appointed expert from them. Once they approached her she answered that DIY book is out of date and still they were selling the book in the store which is the prime suspect for the accident to happen. If a person is selling something he should be liable for the contents

They can claim the total amount of damages and the total cost of repair ( 25000+15000+7500) = 47500

If Matty's reply would have been as stated above. Still Global hardware would be liable for the claim. Matty would have not been the reason for the damage but following the instructions in DIY book would have lead to all the damages. In this case the case cannot be against Matty beacuse she has clearly stated not to go by her advice solely.

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