Ronald loves antique Victorian furniture.

| October 14, 2019

However, although he has bought a number of antique Victorian pieces over the years, he is not an expert when it comes to distinguishing a genuine antique Victorian piece from one which is not.
Ronald visits the store of a business based in Melbourne which has a well-known reputation for selling genuine antique Victorian furniture.  Paula owns and runs the business. Ronald browses through the store and sees a beautiful desk which he would like to buy. He speaks to Paula and asks for some information about the desk.  Paula says the desk is over 120 years old.  Ronald replies that while he has been collecting antiques for many years, he is still relying on the statements made by Paula as to the genuineness of the desk.  Paula assures Ronald that the desk is at least 120 years old to which Ronald replies that he is pleased because if the desk had not been over 120 years old, he would not have been interested in buying it.
Ronald subsequently buys the desk for $25,000 and he and  Paula enter into a written contract in which no reference is made to any of the discussion between Ronald and Paula regarding the age of the desk and of the importance of this fact to Ronald’s decision to buy.  Nor is reference made to the fact that it is an antique Victorian desk.  It is simply referred to as a ‘desk’ in the written contract.
Shortly after the desk is delivered, Ronald notices some new pieces of timber have been used to replace other pieces in the desk and he asks a professional antique valuer to examine the desk.  The valuer does so and advises that the desk is only 15 years old and that work has been done on it to make it appear as if it were an antique piece. He values the desk at $1,000.
Ronald wants to commence action against Paula.


REQUIRED:


(a)    Advise Ronald as to his rights against Paula under common law.

 (10 marks)

(b)    Advise Ronald as to his rights against Paula under the Australian Consumer Law.


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