Goods should be of satisfactory quality, fit for the purpose, and should be as description. Goods sold must be 'conform to contract' fit for the quality and satisfactory for the intended use of customer. They should be durable, safe, devoid of minor defects. (Sale of Goods act, 1979, Supply of Goods Act, 1982, The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations, 2002).
Under Consumer Protection Act 1987, or under common law, despite there being no contractual relationship between Mary and manufacturer she would be able to pursue the manufacturer for negligence while manufacturing and endangering her life. Also she could pursue the retailer, or breach of contract under SGA.
All the guarantees are legally binding and will stand in a Court of Law. But the clause that any further injury or damage caused by their faulty goods would not be entertained by them will not stand in a court of law. They might have written that for their own protection; it need not necessarily be a legal verdict. In this case the alarm has caused extensive damage within a day and Mary can prove that she was not at fault and did not misuse the alarm in any way. Hence, the protection clause the retailer will not protect him because it will be read as unfair contract terms and thus, will have no legal standing.
(d) What damages could Mary possibly recover as a result of the incident, if any
Misrepresentation Act of 1967 can be used here, along with Trade Description Act 1968. Mary can claim compensation for the damage caused by unsafe goods including shock and personal injury. As she herself has bought the goods, she can claim from either the trader or manufacturer. Mary in all probability has to go to court to get compensation because this is a complex legal area and it is necessary to have legal advice. Mary can to go Citizens Advice Bureau which would be helpful..
(e) If Mary decided to pursue an action to recover damages, in what Court would she start her action and why
It should have been the Small Claims Court, if the claim is less than 5,000.
(f) Would the position be any different if Jane was Mary's Mother and Jane had served her when she bought the Alarm
No. Even if Jane was Mary's mother, she would be part of Square Deal Electrics and a trader while serving a customer, whoever it is. Relationship does not make any difference unless it is a private sale and if it is one, law renders least amount of protection on faulty goods.
Mary is entitled to ask for the contract money to be returned. Due to basic faults in goods, there had been extensive damage not only for Mary's property, but also for her friend's gold watch, so this case reaches a different parameter. Under this context, it is not possible to ask for a replacement or repair. Onus is always on the purchaser to prove that goods are faulty beyond doubt and here it is not a problem to prove it. Goods should be 'fit