Breach of Contract

Bwiriza v Osapil ((Civil Appeal No. 5 of 2002)) [2002] UGSC 4 (18 June 2002);


Search Summary: 

The respondent sold a car to a man who paid half price and took the vehicle
leaving the original registration book with the respondent. The new buyer on
the same day sold the car to the appellant. The respondent bought a suit
against the appellant and his predecessor in title for orders of specific
performance of the sale agreement, damages, interest and costs of the suit.
The trial court entered judgment for the respondent and the appellant’s
appeal to the court of appeal was dismissed hence this appeal.

Headnote and Holding: 

This case was a second appeal. The appellant claimed damages for loss suffered as a consequence of unlawful intentional and positive acts of the respondent. This case illustrates the limits imposed on innominate torts and that the elements of a tort must be met for a Beaudesert claim, so-called for the Australian case Beaudesert Shire Council v Smith [1966] HCA 49; 120 CLR 145. A Beaudesert claim is one where ‘independently of trespass, negligence or nuisance, but by an action for damages upon the case, a person who suffers harm or loss as the inevitable consequence of the unlawful, intentional and positive acts of another, is entitled to recover damages from that other.

The court considered whether the Court of Appeal erred in finding that the appellant failed to establish the tort. The court held that the tort of intentionally causing loss by lawfulness lacked a properly defined scope and limits but followed the authorities cited that had outlined the elements of a tort since the Beaudesert claim was not a common claim in tort.’

In analyzing the authorities on the Beaudesert claim, the court held that loss as being ‘direct or inevitable consequence’ had to be established. The court held that the appellant’s loss was not a direct consequence of the respondent’s actions. The court also held that issue of damages was not a ground for the appeal. 

The court also dealt with the cross-appeal that the Court of Appeal had erred in law and in fact in holding that the respondent was not entitled to impound the vehicle for failure by to pay the outstanding balance, on the purchase price of the vehicle. The court found that looking at the facts of this case, the intention of the respondent and Kudda was that the vehicle would not be passed at the signing of the sale agreement. Therefore, the respondent could not have anticipated causing loss to the appellant.

The court dismissed the appeal with cost 


Subscribe to RSS - Breach of Contract