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Case Details

Case Details
National ID 1/2014
Member State Malta
Common Name Casingena vs Quality Line Limited
Decision type Administrative decision in appeal
Decision date 29/07/2015
Court Court of Appeal (Civil, inferior)
Plaintiff William Casingena
Defendant Quality Line Limited
Keywords conformity with the contract, consumer, guarantee, notification

Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, link

(1) If a consumer notifies a seller in person of a defect in the product purchased within the two month period envisaged by Consumer Assignment, such notification replaces the requirement of written notification.

(2) Individual who pays for the goods is also correct plaintiff in a consumer claim.
The plaintiff instituted a case in the Consumer Claims Tribunal following the purchase and installation of a number of internal doors from the defendant. The plaintiff’s claim was based on the fact that the doors, doorframe, the finish, any other extras and also the installation performed by the defendant were not of equal quality to that agreed upon in the showroom. The defendant claimed inter alia that the plaintiff was not the person with whom it had a juridical relationship, as the doors were ordered by his parents, and also that plaintiff had not notified it in writing within two months of the discovery of the lack of conformity of the product with the contract, as required by Article 79 of the Consumer Affairs Act (which implements Article 5.2 of Directive 1999/44 into Maltese law). The plaintiff had paid for the doors, and contacted defendant once the problems became evident. The Consumer Claims Tribunal found for the plaintiff and the defendant appealed on the same grounds.
The court agreed with the Consumer Claims Tribunal noting that although it is true that no written notification was made, the plaintiff had notified the defendant in person and the defendant had even taken steps to try and rectify the problem. The court continued by saying that the said provision is intended to limit the exposure of traders from being stretched for an unduly long time and also so that if there are any remedies, these are availed of in a timely manner. Written notification is intended to ensure that the two month period is respected. In this case the trader did not suffer and prejudice by not being notified in writing. Article 79 of the Act (which implements Article 5.2 of Directive 1999/44 into Maltese law) surely was not intended to allow traders to circumvent their legal obligations. For these reasons the court rejected the defendant company’s plea.
(1) Does notification of the fact that the good is not of the quality agreed upon in terms of Article 79(1) of the Consumer Affairs Act (which implements Article 5.2 of Directive 1999/44 into Maltese law) have to be in writing?

(2) Is the person who paid for the product, as opposed to the person who ordered the product, the correct plaintiff in a claim based on lack of conformity of the good?
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The defendant’s appeal was rejected and the appealed decision was confirmed by the court.