Rooney –v- CSE Bournemouth Limited (2010) EWCA Civ 1364 Rooney Air Limited (Rooney) own a Cessna Citation aircraft managed and operated by EBJ Operations Limited. EBJ contracted out its regulatory maintenance obligations to CSE Bournemouth Limited. CSE caused damage to the aircraft by failing to secure the engine cowling fasteners, which detached while the aircraft was in flight.
Rooney took CSE to court to claim for losses. The contracts for maintenance between EBJ and CSE did not include commercial terms, but stated that work would be carried out when individual work orders were signed. The work orders did not contain commercial terms but wording was included at the bottom of each work order, stating that terms and conditions would be available on request. The terms and conditions were crucial to CSE’s defence.
Rooney argued that the work orders were not contractual documents and that the wording was insufficient to incorporate CSE’s terms and conditions. The judge held that the work orders did amount to contractual documents, however, the terms and conditions were not incorporated.
Rooney appealed to the Court of Appeal which looked at whether a reasonable person would consider the terms and conditions to be included. The court held that the work order form was a contractual document within the contractual framework and activated the work to be done under the contract. Further, it would have been odd if the work order didn’t include commercial terms. Therefore, given the nature of the contract, there was an expectation that the terms and conditions formed part of the contract. As a result of this, CSE was able to rely on its standard terms, which formed part of its defence and Rooney’s appeal failed.