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research law case in relation to building defects and ethical behaviour
Engineering and Construction
Pages 10 (2510 words)
Reviewing the “Duty of Care” Doctrine: An Analysis of the Woolcock Street Investments Case [(2004) 216 CLR 515 (‘Woolcock’)] Introduction What happens when an individual buys an already-constructed property from the original owner, and only six months after, the property is found to be defective and the defect is because of design errors by the builder of the original owner?
This essay begins by laying down the facts of the case at hand, it will then proceed with an analysis of the decision made by the High Court of Australia, the prior rulings (meaning, how did the courts decide in the older cases), and finally, providing a discussion on the important policy implications arising from the case, especially insofar as it relates to the liability of design professionals and builders on commercial properties. Brief Background on the Case This case began in 1987 when the Eagle Star Nominees, Inc., designated as trustees for the BSL Growth Trust Company, engaged a company doing engineering work to design foundations for a warehouse and offices in Townsville. When the building’s construction had been finished, the trustee Eagle Star then decided to sell the property to the plaintiff. In the contract of sale, there was no warranty indicating that the building had no defects. Likewise, the buyer did not conduct any building inspection, survey before purchase, or any sort of appraisal to determine whether or not the building had been constructed in an optimal manner. Also, there was no assignment in contract by the vendor of the rights to proceed against others in case of defects. Just more than a year after the property had been turned over, the defects become apparent. ...
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