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Engineering firm wins court battle over unpaid invoices

Posted: 9th August 2012   In: Corporate Commercial

A British engineering firm has won its legal battle with a French company that refused to pay its invoices after claiming the goods supplied were unfit for purpose.

The issue arose when the French firm complained that the various pieces of engineering machinery did not have certificates of conformity which are necessary under an EU directive. It said this meant they could not be sold and so were unfit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

This was in spite of the fact that it had actually sold each piece of equipment to its own customers both in and outside the European Union.

The court held that the machines clearly were fit for purpose as the French firm had been able to sell them in different European countries.

The Court of Appeal has now upheld that decision. It said there was no evidence that the EU Directive had been brought into effect in the member states where the French firm was trading. On that basis, the claim that the goods were unsalable could not succeed.

Please contact Mark Pelopida if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of contract law.