LEG601: Corporate and commercial law problem solving
Oscar is a motor mechanic who operates a garage. Inside his garage a sign reads “owners liability at own risk, please do not enter.” He decides to offer half-price tune-ups to regular customers to reward their loyalty and identifies his 50 most regular customers from his records and mails the offer to them, addressed to: “Dear Valued Regular Customer”. Oscar’s letter states the discount will be available to anyone replying within two months of the date of the letter.
Having anticipated that about a quarter of those to whom he sent the offer might accept, Oscar is concerned about the financial consequences for his business when 25 customers have already accepted the offer within a month. He therefore decides to withdraw the offer and writes to the remaining 25 customers to advise them of this.
As a result of an error in identifying relevant customers, Oscar sends his letters to Christine who had her car repaired by Oscar just once, 2 years ago. The day after Oscar mails his second letter, withdrawing the offer, Christine decides to accept the offer of a discounted tune-up and puts her letter of acceptance in the post. She receives Oscar’s letter withdrawing the offer in the mail the day after posting her letter accepting the offer.
Meanwhile, another customer, Rick decides to walk into Oscar’s garage to check out his car underneath as his car is located on a hoist. The garage is unattended and unbeknown to Rick, he slips on some oil on the garage floor which causes him to lose his balance and fall down. As a result of the fall he suffers concussion and a broken wrist and cannot go to work for 6 months. He also has considerable medical expenses because Rick forgot to pay his health insurance on time.
(1) Is Oscar contractually obliged to provide the half-price tune-up to Christine?
(2) Is Oscar liable to Rick for his injuries?
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