Legal Hypothetical: Tara shoots but fails to score

TARA has just purchased her dream family property.

She now wants to install a basketball court for the kids.

Tara calls a local concrete landscaper to see if they can convert an old tank foundation into a court.

Brad from Dodgy Dog Landscaping tells Tara that he can do the job.

“Trust me,” he says.

Tara enters-into a contract with Dodgy Dog to prepare the court and install the backboard.

After two months of competitive ball, Tara notices cracks around the backboard base.

The cracks get bigger and bigger, until the backboard fails, smashing into the court.

Tara’s friend Lola, a civil engineer, assesses the damage and notes that the construction materials and specifications are not adequate.

Armed with expert knowledge, Tara now seeks legal advice.

Her lawyer reviews consumer protections under Australian Consumer Law (ACL).

The ACL states that goods and services must be of acceptable quality, taking into account their nature and price, among other things.

Furthermore, the ACL states that if the consumer, expressly or by implication, makes known to the seller any particular purpose for which the services are being provided, then the services and any resulting goods should be reasonably fit for that purpose.

In this case, Tara is advised that Dodgy Dog has breached these consumer guarantees, as the basketball court and backboard was not fit for use, which was the particular purpose she made known to Brad.

Tara is also advised that if the Court makes orders against Dodgy Dog, there is a further issue of enforcing a judgement that she must consider.

Tara informs her lawyer that Dodgy Dog is no more, having removed its website a few weeks ago and that the assets held by the company are in question.

Tara learns that this scenario is a common issue in litigation and highlights the importance of considering the opposing party’s ability to pay before commencing legal proceedings.

Thank you to Anthony Fogarty for his assistance with this column.

Email Manny Wood, principal solicitor at TB Law at or call him on (02) 66 487 487.

This column is only accurate at today’s date and cannot be relied upon as legal advice.

By Manny WOOD, Solicitor

Leave a Reply