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Sumner v Webb, [1922] 1 KB 55


D sold tonic FOB to P. D knew the tonic was for P to carry on business. Ds tonic contained an acid that was illegal in the country of P. P cannot know legally sell the tonic.


Can P recover damages for goods delivered according to description, but due to illegality in a country cant sell the goods?


If the reason one cannot sell the goods is simply a legal regulation, then the goods are still merchantable. Merchantable quality makes no claim with respect to legal title. The meaning is restricted to whether the goods match the contract.


Merchantable quality does not cover legal title to goods or the right to sell them.
* Merchantable quality means that the goods comply w/ the description in the K – doesn’t mean that there must be a person there ready to buy the goods (that there be a legal buyer or re-seller of goods).
* The word saleable does not mean legally saleable.
The meaning is more restricted in terms of determining whether or not the goods match the terms of the contract. Merchantable quality means the goods constitute good tender, does not require that the buyer “like” the goods.


P is not entitled to damages


Seller did not know how the restriction that would prevent the sale of tonic water in country of P

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