In October 2021, Jacob was engaged as a producer of Star Media, a production company. Jacob leads a team in charge of producing the latest promotional video for the National Heritage Board.
At a project meeting, a team member requested new filming equipment, including a set of 12 film lights, among other things in preparation for the NHB video. Jacob then telephoned Mr. Tan (Tan), the owner of Light Up Pte. Ltd. (LightUp), about the supply of film lights. Tan told Jacob that he was able to supply these film lights custom-made with the industry’s latest “Grade A+” light bulb.
He also told Jacob that the light bulbs are guaranteed to be “100% weather-proof” suitable for use in all outdoor conditions and “shatter-proof capable of withstanding impact from the usual logistical movements”. Jacob was impressed and decided to proceed with the order based on the tele-conversation.
On 8 January 2022, Tan emailed to Jacob a quotation for the supply of the film lights. Half an hour later, Tan left a message on Jacob’s voicemail saying “Hi! There was an error in my earlier email. Please disregard the email. I am sending over another one now.” Tan then emailed a second quotation.
It was an extremely busy day for Jacob and he did not have time to check his voicemail. He did notice an email from Tan when he scrolled down the 50+ new emails but he did not have time to open or read it.
A week later, Jacob’s team member came into Jacob’s office in a state of panic and exclaimed that the filming schedule has been brought forward to start in less than 2 weeks’ time and they desperately needed to have the film lights as soon as possible or else there will be a delay to the filming. Jacob then remembered the email.
Being in a rush, Jacob then called Tan and told him that he needed to proceed with the order. He also told Tan that the order was required very urgently. Tan told Jacob that he needed to respond to his email quotation. Nonetheless Tan agreed also to check whether he had a current stock of the types of lights Jacob needed and will reply to Jacob by the next day latest.
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Jacob did find the email in Annex A1 and quickly responded to it by attaching his digital signature to the email and sending it back on that day as he wanted to secure the stock immediately.
On the same day, Tan replied by email
On 25 January 2022, Jacob was reminded by his team that the filming will not be able to start until the film lights are delivered. Jacob immediately called Tan and asked why the goods were not yet delivered. Tan promised that they will be delivered soon. When Jacob made a big fuss about the delay, Tan said that he would ensure that the delivery would be made by the end of the month.
To further appease Jacob, Tan said that he would also give a complimentary carton of special cleaning agent which is manufactured specifically for the maintenance of the film lights. Jacob decided to send an email to Tan to record the conversation.
On 2 February 2022, Tan called Jacob to inform them that the Film Lights were being delivered. Tan also told Jacob that the paperwork was not properly done and that he needed Jacob to comply with LightUp’s terms ie. accept the correct quotation and insert a properly encrypted e-signature or send a proper hand-signed document. Jacob was puzzled by the call as he thought he had already done all the paperwork necessary for the transaction. Nonetheless, he told Tan that he would check his paperwork.
The goods from LightUp were eventually delivered on the evening of 2 February 2022. However, due to the urgency to start filming, Jacob’s team managed to rent some film lights the day before for their project. By then, there was no more urgency in respect of the new film lights. The film lights were then stored in the Star Media warehouse. A delivery order and an invoice were issued by LightUp for the transaction.
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On 3 February 2022, while Jacob was doing some housekeeping of his emails, he found the 2nd email of LightUp sent on 8 January 2022 in his JUNK Box. He then recalled the telephone conversation with Tan the day before. Jacob read through the chain of emails and then signed a printed copy of the quotation and sent it back to Tan by courier.
On 16 March 2022 when no payment was received from Star Media, LightUp demanded payment of the sum of $10,800.00 the amount allegedly due to LightUp.
On 2 April 2022, Jacob took the film lights from the warehouse intending to test them.
When he opened the first box, he found the special cleaning agent. He noticed that the expiry date of the special cleaning agent was stated as 31 December 2021. He then opened the second box and found that it contained a film light with a light bulb that can only be used indoors. He then opened the rest of the boxes and found them to contain film lights with weather-proof light bulbs. While carrying a film light, he tripped and fell. The light bulb shattered from the fall. Jacob was seriously injured with cuts and bruises as he fell on the glass shards. In the process, the shattered light bulb also damaged some expensive media equipment nearby.
When Jacob showed the shattered light bulbs to his industry friends, he was told that those light bulbs are of Grade C grading which is not shatter-proof at all.
Now there is a dispute between LightUp and Star Media. LightUp wants to be paid and Star Media wants to enforce its contractual rights against LightUp.
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