Kliger Partners recently obtained judgment for a client after a four day trial in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

The client had been sued because she refused to pay for machines which she bought based on misleading and deceptive representations made to her by the supplier.  The representations related to the country of origin of the machines, and whether or not they were second hand.

The trial involved sharply conflicting testimony, and we called an independent witness who supported our client’s version of events.  We also filed a counterclaim relying upon sections 237 and 243 of the Australian Consumer Law (“ACL”), which enables the Court to render a contract void from inception in circumstances where the agreement was entered into as a result of misleading and deceptive conduct, as was alleged and proven in this case.

As a result of the Court’s judgment, the client was entirely relieved of any obligations to pay for the machine and obtained a Costs Order against the supplier.

The case shows two important things:-

  1. Firstly, a party who has been misled into buying something from someone else can rely upon the ACL to get out of the contract if the Court accepts that the goods or services in question were only purchased due to the misleading representations made to the purchaser.
  2. Secondly, although most cases are settled some have to be tried through to judgment.