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Question: vanessa is an executive working for a bank which has...

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Vanessa is an executive working for a bank which has recently transferred her to an overseas branch. She decides to leave the flat where she lives and to store her goods. She contacts a company known as Safe Storage Pty Ltd, which specialises in the storage of goods. The company agrees to store Vanessa’s goods for the period while she is away.

Before signing the contract of storage, Vanessa asks about the condition of the building in which her goods will be stored. The company manager replies: “Our building is in excellent condition. We built it only two years ago and we used the best building materials. Your goods are safe with us.”

Vanessa decides to enter into a written contract with the company and stores her goods with them. The contract which she signs does not, however, say anything about the condition of the building, nor does it make any reference to the other statements made to Vanessa by the company manager concerning the quality of the building materials.

Some months later, the company telephones Vanessa at her new place of work and advises her that her goods have been badly damaged due to recent heavy rainfall which caused water to enter the building in which Vanessa’s goods have been stored, and to damage them. The reason for the entry of the water into the building is that the building was badly built and poor building materials were used. As a result, the building’s foundations sank when the heavy rainfall fell, thereby causing a large gap between the bottom of the doors to the building and the floor of the building where the goods were stored.

Vanessa now wants to sue the storage company for the loss she has incurred as a result of the damage to her goods.

 

REQUIRED:

 

Advise Vanessa of her legal position at common law against the storage company and discuss what remedies would flow from them. Give full reasons and use any relevant case law. Do not consider any statutory rights.

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