Analyzing the Law of caveat emptor:
The rule of caveat emptor denotes let the buyer be aware. This rule signifies that every buyer should be aware of thing he is going to buy. The term caveat came from the Latin term cevere which means beware and the Latin term emptor means buyer, together it becomes beware buyer (Downie, 2011). Generally the rule of caveat emptor was applicable upon the real properties but as per the time passes the concept of the rule of caveat emptor has been changed, now this doctrine is applicable to the process of selling the goods also. Most of the time the buyer of a good has less information regarding the goods in comparison to the seller, in other words the seller knows more than the buyers in relation to the goods which are going to be sold. Under this prospect the beneficiary points of the concept of caveat emptor as well as the points which causing damage to the concern procedure and the factors in relation to the concept of the caveat emptor should have been changed. In this context all the necessary factors of the concept of the caveat emptor are going to be elaborated (Perenyi, 2012).
Benefits of the doctrine of caveat emptor:
Under this doctrine the awareness from the part of the buyer has been imposed, according to the principals of caveat emptor the buyer has the right to inspect the goods what he is going to purchase, to the extent of his satisfaction before purchasing the goods, provided the purchaser in the course of the inspection is not authorized to do anything which may cause damage to the goods. The buyer of the goods can check the goods regarding its quality, reliability, composition etc (McCalmont, 2012).
The buyer is empowered to check the quality of the goods as whether the quality of the goods matches the purpose or criteria of the purchaser. The buyer should verify the quality of the thing which he is going to buy.
This is the right of the buyer to know the defects and drawbacks of the goods which is to be purchased by him. The buyer should be aware of the facts relating to the defects of the goods on sale (GARDNER, 2007).
Under this concept the buyer may compel the seller of the goods to disclose all the facts relating to the goods in concern. The buyer has the right to know all the facts regarding the goods which he is going to buy, and for this purpose the seller has to disclose the necessary facts to the purchaser, it is an implication under the contract of sale.
Many courts with competent jurisdiction throughout the territory of the United Kingdom has recognized the doctrine of caveat emptor, as to its applicability in spite of the fact that it has modified some of the parts of it’s principal, but the basic concept remains the same.
The doctrine of caveat emptor draws an outline which helps the courts in relation to decide the scope of the buyer as to inspect the goods in sale (Tiemann, 2010).
Under this concept it is recognized by the courts that if the seller deceit the buyer in the course of the sale then the buyer has the right to take necessary legal action against the seller (GREEN, 2009).
In the case of Chandelor Vs Lopus, the situation is specifically illustrated the doctrine of the caveat emptor, here the plaintiff files a suit against the defendant in relation to the sale of a Bezoar stone, this stone is generally found in the stomach of some kind of animals. The majority of the court held the defendant to be liable in spite of the fact that there is no document relating to warranty.
Drawbacks of the law:
Under this doctrine the buyer always have the upper hand in the course of a sale of goods, because of that the buyer sometime may falsely implicate a legal action against a seller, by virtue of that the procedure of selling of further articles or the market of goods may be hampered. Dick Betley Productions LTD. V Smith 9 Motors) LTD. (1965), the court has observed that if the seller is in the better position as to the knowledge of the car which is to be sold to the plaintiff, as it is not possible for the buyer to k now about the actual kilometres run by the concern car, that can be known by the words of the seller of that car who knows better regarding the car, so the defendant is liable for his act. But how the buyer knew about the actual kilometres run by the car has not been disclosed by the buyer, if he could do so the why did not he did it before, at the time of purchasing the car and asked the seller to clarify the fact in issue (DICK BETLEY PRODUCTIONS LTD. V SMITH 9 MOTORS) LTD. (1965), ).
This doctrine sometime puts over burden upon the shoulders of the buyer, as it is not possible for the buyer to inspect the goods all the time or the buyer cannot get all the right information regarding goods without believing the words of the seller. Under those circumstances the buyer has to rely on the seller then the doctrine does not even helps the buyer if he gets deceived. In the case of Ecay v Godfrey, the seller has said the buyer to inspect the boat which is going to be sold but the buyer has not inspected and the boat was defected, so the seller had no ground of deceiving the buyer.
The scope under this doctrine is very narrow it does not cover all the circumstances which may appear in the course of a sale, as it is to be remembered that all the conditions of a sale are not the same (Kluge, 2008).
A specific statute relating to the process of sale would be more beneficiary for the legal phenomena as well as the buyer and seller relationship. In the case of Bannerman V White it was observed that in spite of disclosing the fact that the buyer would not make any trouble in price, even if sulphur has been used in the goods, but the buyer has been deceived by the seller (Perel, 2009).
In the case of Randall v. Newson, it is observed that if the contract of sale has been done by way of description then there shall be an implied warranty regarding the conformity of the goods sold.
The court of law has recognized the concept of non written warranty in a sale of goods under the doctrine of caveat emptor in the case of John v. Bright. The buyer does not have to acquire any written warranty from the seller of the goods.
According to my opinion the rule of the doctrine of caveat emptor required a few changes in its applicability. As the doctrine is very much ancient in nature and the scope of the doctrine is quite narrow in comparison to the situations of the present society (Godlee, 2007). The doctrine should enhance its ideology as to its implementation to the legal phenomena. In many famous cases the court has mentioned about the requirement in relation to the enhance character of the doctrine, just like in the case of Barr v. Gibson, the court of law has mentioned about the applicability of the principals of caveat emptor. In the case of Schawel v Reade, the buyer told the seller that he is going to use horse which he is buying in studs, but the seller deceived him by saying to believe his words regarding the horse and described the horse as perfectly all right but the horse had some hereditary problems in the vision. In the case of Hutton V Warren (1836), the plaintiff was a farmer in field of the defendant and he grows crops in that particular field but before cutting the crops the agreement for tenancy of the land has been terminated, the plaintiff had to suffer from unwanted situation (HUTTON V WARREN, )
The main change needs in the said doctrine is in the applicability, as in earlier time it was originated for the purpose of real properties or immovable properties but now it is also applicable to the movable properties. The principals of the doctrine must be specific.
There is some kind of ambiguity regarding the enforceability of all the principals of the doctrine. The major along with the minor principals of the doctrine must be summarized in a proper form and it applicability must be specific. As in the case of D’mello v Loughborough, a student has suffered by the act of the university regarding the specific course of study which was mentioned in prospectus of the university.
It should impose obligations equally among the buyer and the seller, but it imposes obligation only upon the seller, buyer should also be admitted within the purview of the doctrine.
DICK BETLEY PRODUCTIONS LTD. V SMITH 9 MOTORS) LTD. (1965) .
Downie, R. (2011). Caveat emptor. New York: Bloomsbury USA.
GARDNER, R. (2007). MEASUREMENT, SCALE, AND PREDICTION: CAVEAT EMPTOR.BioScience, 57(5), p.451.
Godlee, F. (2007). Caveat emptor. BMJ, 334(7597), pp.0-0.
GREEN, J. (2009). Caveat emptor. Critical Quarterly, 51(3), pp.105-110.
HUTTON V WARREN .
Kluge, A. (2008). Caveat emptor. Cladistics, 24(4), pp.623-624.
McCalmont, T. (2012). Caveat emptor. Journal of Cutaneous Pathology, 39(5), pp.479-480.
Perel, M. (2009). Caveat Emptor. Implant Dentistry, 18(2), p.97.
Perenyi, K. (2012). Caveat emptor. New York: Pegasus Books.
Tiemann, K. (2010). Caveat Emptor. Humanity & Society, 34(4), pp.299-300.