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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 12199
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I am an agricultural contractor, I supplied labour and machine

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I am an agricultural contractor, I supplied labour and machine to a local farmer. He was absent on my arrival but had left out as previously arranged chemical for application to his field to exterminate bugs. Unfortunately he had also left a herbicide amongst the containers. I applied all chemical as I believed to be his instruction which resulted in crop loss . Am I responsible for his loss?
Thank you for your question.

Was it clear that there was a container of herbicide amongst the other containers? What is the farmer's explanation for it being there?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The containers were labeled differently, however since I had been advised that he would leave the material for the job out for me ,and it was handed over by a family member without comment, I assumed he intended
Using the herbicide at a low deletion to eliminate some weed species from his crop. It is not uncommon to combine several chemicals in the one tank to cut down on fuel and tracking in growing crop. He gave no reason other than he had ordered two types and just hadn't removed the one which did the damage. He simply wishes to hold me responsible. In carrying out his request with the material left out for me to use I do not feel responsible?
It appears from what you say that the contract was that you were to spray what was left out for you. That being the case, and assuming you are not in the ordinary course of business expected to make decisions about this, you are not in breach of contract and have not been negligent. You should resist the claim.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Though no written contract existed it is his contention that I was contracted to spray for the bugs NOT weeds therefore I am negligent, by his reckoning.
What was the contract:

1. To spray the big repellent, or,

2. To spray what was left out for you.

The answer to that will determine the answer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is not so simple I was asked to spray the crop for bugs usefing the material which he would provide and leave for my use.
And you used the material he left out for you?

That being the case I don't think he has cause for complaint but as you identify it's not black and white and would depend on the assessment of the evidence by a judge if this went to court.
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