Mary wanted to purchase a gift for her boyfriend, Tom. Mary and Tom went to Ritz Jewellery to select the gift. Charles, the store manager, assisted them. Mary explained to Charles that she wanted to purchase a gift for Tom, and that Tom could select whatever he wanted. Tom chose a large gold chain costing €2,400.
Mary and Ritz executed a written instalment sales contract which identified the chain as “solid 18K gold,” stated the purchase price of €2,400 which was to be paid by Mary in twenty-four equal monthly payments, and stated that the contract was not assignable. Tom wore the gold chain proudly, but the relationship with Mary ended a few months later.
When the two parted, Mary made it clear that Tom could keep the gold chain. Tom subsequently took the chain to another jeweller for cleaning and then discovered that the chain was not solid gold after all, but rather was gold plated and the thin gold plating was wearing off the chain. Tom decided to make a claim directly against Ritz for misrepresenting the chain’s quality, without involving Mary.
When Tom made the claim against Ritz, Ritz informed Tom that Ritz had assigned the contract and its right to receive payments from Mary to CreditCo, a finance company. Ritz had previously notified Mary of the assignment.
Mary had paid six of the twenty-four payments due under the instalment sales contract. However, when Mary learned that the gold chain was not solid 18K gold as represented, she stopped making any more payments to CreditCo. You are asked to consider the following questions:
1. Can Tom prevail in a breach of contract action against Ritz? Critically discuss using case law to illustrate your points.
2. Is the assignment by Ritz to CreditCo effective? Critically discuss using case law to illustrate your points.
3. Can CreditCo prevail in a breach of contract action against Mary? Critically discuss using case law to illustrate your points. Suggested Structure for your essay: Introduction Main Body (Dealing with those matters identified in the problem)
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