A swimming pool trade association listed installers on its website but without distinguishing full members from affiliate members. Full members were vetted by the association and were covered by the association’s bond and warranty scheme but affiliate members were not. The true position was, however, made clear in an information pack referred to on the website, which gave details of suitably qualified and approved installers. Was the association liable to customers who relied on the website to find an installer but failed to obtain the information pack, when the installer they appointed, who was only an affiliate member, became insolvent?

No, said the majority of the Court of Appeal. The association had not assumed a legal responsibility to the claimants for the accuracy of the website statements without the further enquiry which the website itself urged (obtaining the information pack). It also noted, however, that some websites are interactive and indicated that in particular circumstances a duty of care might be owed.

Patchett v Swimming Pool & Allied Trades Association Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 717