Dispute Resolution- Adjudication

    November 2, 2022

Dispute Resolution- Adjudication 
 assuming you are the judicial officer, outline:
the advantages and disadvantages of adjudication in this case.
the principles that guide your decision-making in this case.
the principles that guide your decision-writing in this case.
the decision that you would give with succinct reasons.
1. Claim by Commercial Painting Ltd
On 6 December 2020, we entered a contract with Wood Coverings Ltd (“WC”) that WC would paint 38 doors for a price of $3090, including pickup and delivery. We stipulated in our acceptance of WC’s quote that we expected “a professional high-quality finish” [a letter to this effect was tabled at the hearing].  After completion of the work in 2021, we paid the contract price. However, we were not satisfied with the quality of the work. There were nail holes, dents and mitre joints not filled, bubbles in the paint, uneven paint textures and areas not painted. WC attempted to rectify the work on half of the doors to our satisfaction, but this attempt was not successful. When we refused to accept the standard of the remedial work done on these doors, WC refused to do any work on the other half of the doors. We then had to have the work done by another firm, Total Coverings, and we claim the cost of this extra work totalling $3500. The Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 requires that work provided for a consumer must be carried out with reasonable skill and care and be fit for the purpose made known to the supplier (ss 28-29).
2. Reply by Wood Coverings Ltd
We should not be required to pay Commercial Painting (“CP”) its claim. A letter from Total Coverings [tabled at the hearing] clearly states that the work done by us was of a standard that matched the quoted price of the contract between CP and us, and that CP required an exceptionally high standard. There were a few problems of workmanship, and we were prepared to attend to these. Furthermore, CP (through its director Mr Price) approved the repair work done by us on half of the doors. It was only when Mr Price changed his mind and asked for the work to be done again that we realised that our work was never going to be good enough and we refused to do work on the other half of the doors. The work that we did and have been paid for was of the required “professional high-quality finish”. In any event the claim made is outrageously high, as the costs that we would have incurred to work on the second half of doors would only have been around $1200. The Consumer Guarantees Act only requires a reasonable standard and s 29 specifically excludes the situation where it is unreasonable for the consumer to rely on the supplier’s skill or judgment.

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