Tina appoints Brad as checkout operator at her independent garage which she operates as a sole trader. The business operates both as a service station and as a used-car lot.
Tina contracts glandular fever, and during the four months she is off work, she tells Brad that he can order petrol while she is sick. During this period, Brad negotiates supplies with Caltex. Brad orders fuel from Caltex every fortnight. Tina returns from her illness, and tells Brad that he should no longer order petrol and that matters will be conducted as they were before she was ill. However Brad, who enjoys the increased status of dealing with the oil companies, ignores Tina’s instruction, phones Caltex and orders 30 000 litres of fuel. When the truck arrives to deliver the fuel, Tina is furious (as she has already entered into a more advantageous arrangement with BP). She phones Caltex, and denies that there is a contract between her and Caltex, stating that Brad was acting contrary to instructions when he placed the order.
Tina employs Paul as a salesman of the used vehicles. Paul has several years experience in the second hand vehicle market. Tina has a number of vehicles on display, including a 2012 Holden Commodore Wagon, priced at $ 19 000. She does not realise that the vehicle could easily fetch $ 25 000. Paul however does know this, and also that his next door neighbour, Fred, wants to purchase just such a vehicle. Paul says that he needs a vehicle himself, and buys the wagon from Tina for $ 19 000. He then sells it to Fred for $ 25 000. Tina is furious when she finds out what has happened.
Advise Tina as to her legal position in relation to the above situations, citing relevant authority.
Simon, George, Sara and Mary were all employed by different IT companies. However, they felt that they could do better if they went into business themselves. They pooled their available cash and drew up a partnership agreement, which stated that each partner had authority to enter into transactions on behalf of their IT firm, which they called Computer Solutions. The firm operates in Sydney and provides a service of storing data for customers. The agreement states that partners have authority to enter into contracts of up to $ 10 000, but that any contract for more than that must be approved unanimously by all partners.
George, Sara and Mary approach you for legal advice in relation to two transactions entered into by Simon, who had acted without referring back to the partners. On was for a 500TB storage drive, bought by Simon on behalf of Computer Solutions, from Sunstar Computer Hardware Ltd, costing $ 12 000. The other was for a second-hand ute, costing $ 9 000, which Simon ordered for the firm from You Beaut Ute Ltd, on the basis that the partnership should branch into the freight business. George, Sara and Mary have refused to accept delivery of both the storage drive and the ute and the partnership has been sued by both Sunstar Computer Hardware Ltd and You Beaut Ute Ltd. Give George, Sara and Mary legal advice, referring to relevant statutory and case law authority.
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