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Key decisions

  • Miraki v Griffith [2021] NSWCA 263


Total failure of consideration – prepayment for goods never delivered – payment into account in son’s name– whether son obtained benefit of funds

Miraki v Griffith [2021] NSWCA 263

Background facts: The appellant, Mrs Miraki, purchased luxury Versace home furnishings from a business run by Mr Griffith with the assistance of his son. The total contract price of €99,061.94 (approximately 150,000 AUD) was made in four instalments by a company associated with Ms Miraki, Barton Contractors. Two of the payments were made into a bank account associated with Mr Griffith’s business. The final two payments were made into the son’s personal account. He was 17 years old at the time of the first three payments. The details of both the business and personal bank accounts were listed on the original invoice. The Versace home furnishings were never delivered.

The claim was initially pleaded in contract against both Mr Griffiths and his son. The son placed reliance on the Minors (Property and Contracts) Act 1970 (NSW) as part of his defence. A claim in restitution was subsequently pleaded against the son on the basis of a total failure of consideration.

The District Court entered judgment in favour of Mrs Miraki against Mr Griffiths in respect of the first three payments in the sum of $116,279.91. The claims against the son were dismissed.

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