While purchasing goods buyer must be very careful, at his own interest, the buyer has to select such goods only which are not of defective nature. In case where buyer, negligently purchases defective goods, he cannot repudiate the contract of sale. It is caveat emptor law.
A case on this point is Ward Vs Hobbs. In this case, a contract of sale gets formed between A and B according to the terms of which A has to sell an animal from his farm to B. Negligently B selects an animal which has been suffering from some sickness. That sickness is characterized by propagation from one animal to the other and the ultimate effect is the death of the animal. It should be noted that the sickness is externally visible. B negligently selects such animal and as a result, all animals present in B`s farm comes across death. B sues A. Court decides that B is negligent, he cannot blame the seller for his (A) own negligence and therefore B cannot claim any compensation. Thus caveat emptor rule protects the seller. This rule is unfavorable to the buyer.
Exceptions for Caveat Emptor Rule
The shelter of caveat emptor rule is not available to shelter on the following occasions; When caveat emptor is not applicable buyer can repudiate the contract.
A case on this point is Vorley Vs Whipp. In this case, there is a sale between A and B according to which A has to sell his harvester to B. While selling A gives a lot of description about the machine. Thereafter B comes to know that the delivered machine is not in accordance with the given description. B Sues for repudiation of the contract of sale. Court decides that as delivered goods are not in accordance with the given description, caveat emptor rule is not applicable and hence buyer can repudiate the contract.
When the sale is made by means of sample: When goods are sold on the basis of the sample, the delivered goods must be in resemblance with the sample. Otherwise, seller cannot claim the shelter of caveat emptor rule.
A related case is Wallis Vs Prat. In this case, a contract of sale gets formed between A and B according to which A has to supply English sain fain seeds. The contract is based on samples. But A supplies giant sain fain seeds. Court decides that the buyer can repudiate the Contract of Sale.
When the purpose is mentioned: at the time of purchasing the goods if buyer communicates the purpose for the sake of which he is purchasing the goods seller should sell such goods only which are suitable to that purpose otherwise caveat emptor rule is not applicable.
A case on the point is Priest Vs Laste. In this case, B purchases a bottle from A. At the time of purchasing the bottle the buyer says that it should be qualified for storage of hot water. Thus here purpose is mentioned but the seller sells such a bottle which is not qualified for storage of hot water. As a consequence, the buyer’s wife gets injured. Court decides that the buyer can claim compensation.
When concealment is made: In case where buyer conceals material facts and thus fraudulently sells goods, then also caveat emptor rule is not applicable.
A case on this point is Smith Vs Green. In this case, a contract of sale gets formed between A and B according to which A has to sell an animal to B out of his (A`s) farm. B selects an animal and request’s A to confirm that there is no any sickness to that animal. Actually, the animal has been suffering from some sickness and A conceals the fact. Thereafter it comes across death and the court decides that B can get the amount back.
When misrepresentation is made: When the seller sells the goods by giving misrepresentation, he cannot claim the protection of caveat emptor rule. Hence the buyer can repudiate the contract. Under the first point, Vorley Vs Whipp is explained. In the same case misrepresentation or wrong description can be seen in connection with Harvester.