The purpose of the assignment is to allow you to undertake independent research into a particular aspect of law, to reflect on and consider particular legal issues and to apply your legal skills to them. It is important for you to have time to think through how to structure and present arguments, and to discuss what the law is or should be in a particular area. This assessment task also gives you the opportunity to put the skills you have learned in tutorials into practice.
Comprehensive details relating to the assignment are included below. We recommend that you carefully read this information, making sure that when you write your assignment you answer the questions asked and address the criteria. Most marks are given for analysis; very few marks are given for the mere stating of information. See the presentation requirements and the warning about plagiarism below.
Georgia provides a home pet care service as well as being a financial planner. Malcolm is interested in obtaining home pet care as he is expected to be away from home for a week. After a brief phone call, Georgia attends Malcolm's home to meet his pets. Malcolm begins to talk to Georgia about the rates for her service and specifically mentions that he requires home pet car for both his award winning rabbit and his tropical fish. He explains that he is soon to show his award winning rabbit at a show in Melbourne where, he will receive $10,000. During the conversation Georgia states 'I am a professional, an animal lover and that this should not be a problem'. The next day, Georgia emails Malcolm a copy of a standard form contract that she uses with all of her home pet care clients. This standard form contract contains, among other things, the following clause:
'Georgia maintains the highest standards in animal care. However Georgia will not be liable for death or illness of tropical fish due to their specific vulnerabilities.'
Malcolm is very busy this week preparing for his trip away. Consequently, he does not read the contract but signs it and returns it to Georgia in person. While he is away Georgia attends frequently to the pets but incorrectly feeds the fish the rabbit food and the rabbit the fish food. Upon returning home the following week, Malcolm finds that his tropical fish worth thousands of dollars have died. In addition, due to the rabbit food blocking the aquarium filter, extensive flooding has occurred damaging both furniture and the house Malcolm is renting. Malcolm also finds that the rabbit, has lost all its hair (due to the stress from eating fish food and is no longer able to be shown.
- Discuss the contractual issues that arise in this situation
- Advise Malcolm as to whether he can sue Georgia for breach of contract and, if so, what remedy or remedies should he seek?