Damages for non-acceptance of goods not covered by exclusion clause covering ‘loss of profits’

In the case of Glencore Energy UK Ltd v Cirrus Oil Services Ltd [2014] EWHC 87 (Comm), 24 January 2014, the High Court has clarified that a claim for damages for non-acceptance of goods under section 50 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 is not a claim for loss of profits but rather for loss of the bargain the seller would have benefited from under the contract.

Where parties to a contract wish to exclude claims for damages under section 50, the contract must contain clear and specific wording to that effect.

The claimant, Glencore Energy UK, and the defendant, Cirrus Oil Services, had entered into a contract on 4 April 2012 for the sale of crude oil. When Cirrus refused to accept the oil, Glencore successfully brought a claim for damages under section 50(2) and (3) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 for Cirrus’s repudiation of the contract. The key issue of interest in this case is the question of whether the seller’s claim was excluded by the exclusion wording in the contract…

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