IKEA horse meat balls
It has emerged that supermarket Albert Heijn and IKEA have been selling frozen ready meals and meatballs containing horse meat ...
It has emerged that supermarket Albert Heijn and IKEA have been selling frozen ready meals and meatballs containing horse meat as products containing beef. The retailers immediately gave their customers the opportunity to return the products. Would consumers have been able to compel them to do so if these shops had not offered this voluntarily?
The law says that a contract can be dissolved if the product supplied is not as agreed. The basic principle is that the product supplied must have the characteristics that the purchaser was entitled to expect on the basis of the contract.
The seller must inform the purchaser truthfully about the ingredients and characteristics of the product. The seller must also warn the purchaser about any unexpected hidden defects of which he is aware. An example for the sale of a house would be where wallpaper has been placed over signs of a leak.
The purchaser in turn has an obligation to notice any obvious defects himself. For example where a leak is immediately visible on opening a kitchen cupboard.
Where the seller has an obligation to disclose, the purchaser is not required to conduct any investigation. The purchaser is also entitled to rely on any statement by the seller. Given that the labelling on the frozen foods and meatballs was incorrect, it is highly likely that the contracts can be undone.
If you wish to buy something, it’s advisable to be properly informed. Get as much information as possible from the seller. Asking questions not only satisfies your obligation to investigate, it also expands the seller’s obligation to disclose. If it later emerges that the information he provided was incorrect, you can call him to account for this, as no doubt Albert Heijn and IKEA will be calling their manufacturers to account. This applies to any purchase, whether you’re buying a house, a car or a television.
Some success stories of
Mr. Martijn de Schepper
A turbulent takeover
A turbulent takeover A businessman for whom I had worked previously came to me because he wanted to help a friend who was having difficulties with his business partner. He tried to intervene when the partner attempted to eject his friend out of his own company. He even offered to buy the
Fingers burned in the ashes of a house
Fingers burned in the ashes of a house A man telephoned me in a panic because his house had just burned down and an insurance expert was on his doorstep asking him all kinds of strange questions. The expert then produced a report suggesting on various grounds, both comprehensible and
An efficient share sale
An efficient share sale An American group with a number of Dutch subsidiaries wished to sell shares back to a fellow shareholder. As the approval of the American parent company was required, I drafted the share purchase agreement in English, to save time and aid efficient communication. The
Post-insolvency restart organised in advance
Post-insolvency restart organised in advance A client with two companies in two different cities realised that one of the two locations was not doing well; the economic situation had caused a drop in sales. His business operated in a sub-sector of the construction industry. He had found a
Even a generous payment arrangement can’t be open-ended
Even a generous payment arrangement can’t be open-ended A German client was faced with a customer who failed to pay. First the customer avoided my client, then he invented excuses and finally he admitted that he owed money but said that he was unable to settle the debt in a single
The unreliable partner
My client, who specialised in the import of local beer originating from his native country in Central America, had entered into a joint venture with a Dutch man in order to finance his business. The parties had set up a general partnership as the basis for their joint venture, though they did
Driver pays for his dishonesty
Some years ago a German couple came to me for assistance. While holidaying in the Netherlands, a Dutch man had driven into their car. Luckily they were unhurt. However, the costs of repairing their car (removing the dents and partial re-spraying) were significant. Immediately after the
The director facing a liability claim
The director facing a liability claim When a foundation doing community work became insolvent, a really nice guy (our client) decided to continue the foundation’s activities through a limited company and purchased the foundation’s fittings and equipment etc. from the liquidator.
Disagreement between partners
Disagreement between partners A business partner who frequently takes all the money out of the bank account and transfers it to his own company, refuses to discuss anything and fails to pay tax assessments. These are just some of the problems that my client came to me to seek help with. The
Protecting a duped brewery
Protecting a duped brewery Breweries often finance fittings and drink dispensing systems for bars that serve their beer, with the intention of recovering the investment gradually over a number of years. Sometimes though, if the bar owner decides to sell or the business doesn’t do well,
Keeping a business afloat when the trust is gone
Keeping a business afloat when the trust is gone Someone I had encountered earlier in my legal career came to me because of disagreements with his business partner. They had an online shop that was doing very good business, but they no longer trusted one another. From the accuracy of the
Lawyer from famous legal family forced to pay up in the end
Some time ago, I used a bankruptcy application to collect a debt owing to a client by a lawyer who is a member of a well-known family of attorneys. A court judgment had been issued granting the debt claim and no appeal was made, establishing that the debt claimed was due. One of the supporting
Unusual provision in agreement is still binding
Buying a house is a bit more complicated than buying a loaf of bread. Some clients whom a colleague and I represented discovered this at first hand. Our clients had found the house of their dreams. As they had started their business less than three years earlier, the banks wouldn’t
Partner’s withdrawal not such a smart move!
If you don’t have enough money to fund your business yourself, there are various ways to obtain the necessary capital. One of these is to set up a limited partnership. This is a partnership with one or more general partners, who are actively involved in running the business, and one or
Enforcing a judgment that should never have been issued
A Dutch company I represented had provided services to a German customer. The invoice that was sent to the customer for this work was not paid. As my client’s standard terms and conditions stated that the services were carried out in the Netherlands, under European legislation we were
Employee refuses termination settlement offered and ends up with less in court
My client was dissatisfied with the performance of one of her employees. A programme of coaching failed to bring about the desired improvement, so she believed that there was no solution but to terminate his employment contract. When my client discussed the situation with the employee, he
The misleading estate agent
My client owned a house together with his wife who was terminally ill. They could not pay the mortgage anymore. One day, my client walked past an estate agent's office. The estate agent accompanied my client to his house, viewed it in five minutes and made an offer, which my client was to
Paid website for antique furniture dealer
A communication agency in the Eindhoven area built a complicated website for an antique furniture dealer. Because the dealer refused to cooperate in providing certain data the website could not be completed. On the basis of the recorded order agreements, the communication agency decided to