Case Report: Mawdsley v Cosmosair plc
County Court, Manchester (25 September, 2001)
A holiday is not a tangible product. It cannot be touched or tasted or sampled before it is consumed. It is therefore important that tour operators accurately describe the holidays in their brochures so that consumers are not misled about what they are purchasing. There are clear advantages too for the tour operator in providing accurate descriptions – it avoids the need for costly litigation, both civil and criminal, and it usually results in satisfied customers.
This case graphically illustrates the difficulties that can arise if descriptions are misleading and also shows the battery of weapons available to a consumer who has been so misled – an action for misrepresentation, an action for breach of contract and an action for breach of Reg.4 of the Package Travel Regulations 1992. The case also raises the difficult issue of causation in the law and shows how the same set of facts can give rise to diametrically opposed views on what caused the accident. [Apparently leave to appeal has been granted to the defendant and that appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal before the next issue of the Journal so it will be interesting to see if the decision of Judge Singer is overturned on appeal.]
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