actio quanti minoris

actio quanti minoris

originally a remedy in Roman law granted by the aedile (a magistrate with jurisdiction over markets) when a latent defect appeared that had not been revealed to the buyer, allowing the buyer (within a year) to seek the difference between the price paid and the value. Liability was strict. In late Roman law it applied even to land. It is still discussed in civilian jurisdictions to this day. The Sale of Goods Act legislation prevailing in the UK provides a general right to retain the property and claim damages for the difference in value in respect of goods that disconform to the contract, including its statutorily implied terms.

The position in Scotland in relation to land has been clarified by the Contracts (Scotland) Act 1997, which provides that it is not necessary to rescind before being able to claim damages.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006