Renfrew Golf Club has had their claim for damages against
the manufacturer of an electronic golf trolley refused. Renfrew
Golf Club claimed that defective wiring in a Motocaddy trolley
caused a spark that started a fire and caused Ł500,000 worth
The Golf Club argued that Motocaddy were liable for the damage
in terms of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and in common law of
negligence. They argued that the golf trolley was defective at the
point of supply and that it was foreseeable that damage of this
nature could occur. The Golf Club were unsuccessful in their action
at first instance (see our earlier
Insight), but sought to appeal that decision.
The Inner House of the Court of Session refused the Golf
Club's appeal. The 1987 Act restricts liability to property in
private use. The court decided that the clubhouse in question was
not for private use as required. The court stated that as the club
was for the "communal use...of a large number of members
of the public", it was outside of the protection offered
by the 1987 Act.
The Golf Club also sought to argue that Motocaddy were liable
under the common law of negligence. The court rejected this
argument, noting that the supplier of a golf trolley and the owner
of a clubhouse did not have the proximity of relationship required
to impose liability. In this instance it was not fair, just and
reasonable to impose a duty of care.
There have been very few cases in Scotland dealing with
application of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and so this case
provides some useful discussion on the application or otherwise of
the Act. That will be little consolation to the Golf Club in
question, who will no doubt be counting the cost of the
The court noted that, while it might have been difficult for
Motocaddy to obtain limitless product liability insurance, the Golf
Club, as owners of the clubhouse, could have insured the premises
with reasonable ease. Had the Golf Club had such an insurance
policy in place, this litigation may not have been necessary. A
reminder on the importance of such insurance cover.
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In the recent decision in Joyce Whitfield v Revenue & Customs Commissioners  UKFTT 685 (TC) the Tribunal considered that inflexible and disproportionate behaviour by a party's legal representative...
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