Brief of Rockson v Armah

Brief of Rockson v Armah by Legum

ROCKSON v. ARMAH [1975] 2 GLR 116

Material Facts:

The plaintiff-respondent, herein respondent, purchased a car from the respondent-appellant, herein appellant. Payment for the car was made partly by cash and partly by two post-dated cheques. When the respondent took delivery of the car, he discovered it had been recently involved in an accident and had serious defects in its clutch and starter systems, and a disturbing hum in the engine inter alia. The appellant initially dismissed the seriousness of the accident and its consequent damages to the car, but later admitted to the seriousness of the damage and agreed to have them fixed. The appellant contacted a local wayside fitter who took the car and within a day, purported to have fixed the damages to the car. The car was returned to the respondent. After using the repaired car for almost two months, the respondent made his bid to repudiate the bargain and stopped the payment of his final post-dated cheque on grounds that the car still had latent defects.


Whether the respondent in the circumstances was right in rejecting the contract.


The respondent had n right in rejecting the contract.

Ratio Decidendi:

The court acknowledge that since the car sold to the respondent was so damaged and defective, it could be said that the car is fundamentally different from what the respondent had bargained for, and he would ordinarily have the right to reject the car.

However, the court relied on the provisions in sections section 26(2), 51, 52(b) of Act 137 and held that this right was lost by the respondent’s unreasonable delay before making his bid to repudiate the bargain. Per Francois J.A

Time is a material element for consideration where repudiation of a contract of sale is sought, since it is an element in the determination of the question whether property in the goods has passed. Though the intention of the parties is the vital index in this determination, section 26 (2) of the Sale of Goods Act, 1962 (Act 137), provides that: “Unless a different intention appears the property in the goods passes under a contract of sale when they are delivered to the buyer.” Thus any undue delay in rejection amounts to a positive assumption that the property in the goods has passed … A long period of retention must be equated with acceptance, the transfer of the property in the goods and the assumption of all risks. What is a reasonable time is a question of fact and may vary with the circumstances of a case; but retention for a month has been condemned as unreasonable in relation to a second-hand car

Further, the court per Francois J.A stated the respondent was well aware that the wayside fitter completed the repairs in a short space of the day, yet took still took the car. Consequently, the court inferred that he exercised his own judgment in the matter and elected to continue with the purchase. This election was a risk he took but was considered bound by his election.