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This is an appeal against the judgment of the High Court. The learned trial judge dismissed the Appellant’s claim against the Respondent for damages of breach of contract. The Respondent purchased bags of layers mash from the Appellant. The Appellant alleged that its chickens died after feeding them with the layers mash. The Appellant also claimed there was a reduction in the egg production. On sending samples of the layers mash to the University of Zambia for analysis, the results showed that the feed was contaminated with Salmonella and E. Coil bacteria and that it was low in crude protein, calcium and phosphorus. The Appellant claimed there was breach of the implied term or condition of the contract by the respondent as the mash in question was not reasonably fit for the intended purpose.
The learned judge found in favour of the Respondent on the basis that the Appellant had failed to prove its case on the balance of probabilities that it was the Respondent’s feed caused the Appellant’s chickens to die.
1. A plaintiff cannot rely on a failed defence of the defendant to sustain his claim against the defendant.
2. A plaintiff should not automatically succeed whenever a defence fails as the plaintiff must prove his case and that if he fails to do so, the mere failure of the appellant’s defence does not entitle him to judgment.
3. The standard of proof required in civil matters is one of balance of probabilities.
4. A Section 14(1) of the Sale of Goods Act, 1893 imputes a term or warranty on the seller that the goods will reasonably fit and sustainable for their intended purposes and that the seller will supply satisfactory goods.
5. The Appellate Court will only reverse findings of fact made by a trial Judge if is satisfied that the finding of facts in question were either perverse or made in the absence of any relevant evidence or upon a misapprehension of the facts.