Irma Uwe-Ntukabumwe of Schelstraete Equine Law wins appeal

Irma Uwe-Ntukabumwe of Schelstraete Equine Law wins on appeal!

In November 2020, our client bought a horse for € 22,000, but after delivery, health problems such as stomach ulcers and inflammation of the small intestine occured. The horse was euthanised, leading to a dispute as to whether the horse complied with the purchase agreement upon delivery.

Before the court of first instance, our client had amongst others demanded that nullification of the purchase agreement and claimed repayment of part of the purchase price, damages, and compensation for extrajudicial collection costs. The  court of first instance rejected these claims, taking the view that there was no consumer purchase, after which the client filed an appeal.

The court of appeal ruled differently from the court of first instance and concluded that there was a consumer purchase. After all, the other party had charged sales tax to our client via an invoice and the sales contract also contained the logo of the other party’s company. As a result, the statutory presumption of evidence applied: the horse did not comply with the purchase contract because the health problems manifested themselves within six months of delivery. The other party failed to prove that the horse was healthy upon delivery, so our client’s reliance on error succeeded.

The ruling highlights the importance of consumer protection in cases of rapidly emerging post-purchase defects. Sellers must prove that the product was compliant upon delivery. In this case, the other party was unable to prove that the horse was healthy upon delivery, resulting in an order to refund and reimburse costs to our client.

We congratulate Irma on her well-deserved victory in this case. Her determination and dedication to defending her clients’ interests are characteristic of Schelstraete Equine Law’s professional approach. Schelstraete Equine Law remains committed to providing the highest standards of legal services in the equine sector. If you require legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to assist you.

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