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LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Principalansvarets tolkningsproblem, en kritisk studie av rekvisitet "i tjänsten"

Nilsson, Maja LU (2013) LAGF03 20131
Department of Law
Abstract
Summary
Since the end of the 19th century the so-called vicarious liability has developed in Sweden. The vicarious liability means responsibility for someone else´s causing. This is an exception from the principal rule in the law of tort that says that a tortfeasor is liable to pay damages only because of his/her own actions. In 1972 the Liability for Damages Act was established and the vicarious liability was codified through chapter 3 § 1. Regarding an employer´s responsibility for an employee´s causing of damage to property, personal injury or pure economic loss, a necessary condition is that the damage/injury/loss has to be caused ”during work”. The expression "during work" is not explained further in the section of law, but in the... (More)
Summary
Since the end of the 19th century the so-called vicarious liability has developed in Sweden. The vicarious liability means responsibility for someone else´s causing. This is an exception from the principal rule in the law of tort that says that a tortfeasor is liable to pay damages only because of his/her own actions. In 1972 the Liability for Damages Act was established and the vicarious liability was codified through chapter 3 § 1. Regarding an employer´s responsibility for an employee´s causing of damage to property, personal injury or pure economic loss, a necessary condition is that the damage/injury/loss has to be caused ”during work”. The expression "during work" is not explained further in the section of law, but in the legislative history to the Liability of the Damages Act it says that the interpretation of the necessary condition shall be left to the application of the law.

The intentions behind the vicarious liability are, for example, a rational placement of costs and insurance opportunities, prevention against employees´ damage causing, effective protection for the victim of the damage, and also internalization of costs. In the light of these intentions The Supreme Court and the Labour Court have, in a number of decisions, interpreted and applied the expression “during work”. Since the rule of vicarious liability existed before it was codified, the decisions from before the introduction of the law still give guidance. The question of how the necessary condition “during work” shall be applied has recently been put to the test through two judgements from The Supreme Court in year 2000 and one from The Labour Court in year 2013. Through the decisions, importance has been attached to different interests. An interest that has been prominent is the victim of damages´ interest of compensation. Since it is generally the employer who has the greatest opportunity to compensate arisen damage, the expression “during work” is usually interpreted in a broad sense. In one of the judgements the opposite interest appears – the interest of the employer. If the opportunities to discover an employee´s recklessness or intentional causing of damage are small, the employer should not be held responsible for the damage. Since a lot of different interpretations of the expression “during work” can be done, there is a risk that the rule of law is affected and that the predictability is reduced. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Sammanfattning
Sedan slutet av 1800-talet har en utveckling av det så kallade principalansvaret skett i Sverige. Principalansvaret innebär ansvar för annans vållande, vilket är ett undantag från den skadeståndsrättsliga huvudregeln att en skadevållare är ersättningsskyldig för den egenvållade skadan och ingenting annat. 1972 kom skadeståndslagen och principalansvaret kodifierades genom kap 3 § 1. När det gäller en arbetsgivares ansvar för en arbetstagares vållande av sakskada, personskada eller ren förmögenhetsskada så uppställs det i lagrummet ett krav på att skadan ska vara vållad ”i tjänsten”. I bestämmelsen preciseras inte närmare vad detta innebär utan i förarbetena till skadeståndslagen stadgas att tolkningen av rekvisiten ska... (More)
Sammanfattning
Sedan slutet av 1800-talet har en utveckling av det så kallade principalansvaret skett i Sverige. Principalansvaret innebär ansvar för annans vållande, vilket är ett undantag från den skadeståndsrättsliga huvudregeln att en skadevållare är ersättningsskyldig för den egenvållade skadan och ingenting annat. 1972 kom skadeståndslagen och principalansvaret kodifierades genom kap 3 § 1. När det gäller en arbetsgivares ansvar för en arbetstagares vållande av sakskada, personskada eller ren förmögenhetsskada så uppställs det i lagrummet ett krav på att skadan ska vara vållad ”i tjänsten”. I bestämmelsen preciseras inte närmare vad detta innebär utan i förarbetena till skadeståndslagen stadgas att tolkningen av rekvisiten ska överlåtas till rättstillämpningen.

Syftena som ligger till grund för principalansvaret är bl. a. rationell kostnadsplacering och försäkringsmöjligheter, prevention mot arbetstagares vållande, effektivt skydd för den skadelidande samt internalisering av kostnader. Mot bakgrund av dessa syften har Högsta domstolen och arbetsdomstolen tolkat och tillämpat uttrycket ”i tjänsten” i ett antal avgöranden. Eftersom regeln om principalansvar existerade innan den blev kodifierad så är domar från tiden innan laginförandet fortfarande vägledande. Frågan om hur ”i tjänsten” ska tillämpas har på senare tid ställts på sin spets i bl. a. två stycken avgöranden i Högsta domstolen från 2000 och ett i arbetsdomstolen från 2013. I domarna lades vikt vid olika intressen. Ett intresse som har varit framträdande är den skadelidandes intresse av att få sin skada ersatt. Då det i regel är arbetsgivaren som har störst möjlighet att ersätta uppstådd skada så har uttrycket ”i tjänsten” oftast tolkats i vid bemärkelse. I ett av fallen framträdde dock det motstående intresset, d.v.s. arbetsgivarens intresse. Om möjligheterna för arbetsgivaren att upptäcka en arbetstagares oaktsamhet eller uppsåtliga skadevållande är små så ska inte arbetsgivaren behöva stå för skadan. Eftersom det kan göras olika tolkningar av rekvisitet finns det en risk för att rättssäkerheten drabbas och förutsebarheten minskar. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Nilsson, Maja LU
supervisor
organization
course
LAGF03 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
Förmögenhetsrätt, Skadeståndsrätt, Arbetsrätt, Principalansvar
language
Swedish
id
3800615
date added to LUP
2013-09-11 14:25:45
date last changed
2013-09-11 14:25:45
@misc{3800615,
  abstract     = {Summary
Since the end of the 19th century the so-called vicarious liability has developed in Sweden. The vicarious liability means responsibility for someone else´s causing. This is an exception from the principal rule in the law of tort that says that a tortfeasor is liable to pay damages only because of his/her own actions. In 1972 the Liability for Damages Act was established and the vicarious liability was codified through chapter 3 § 1. Regarding an employer´s responsibility for an employee´s causing of damage to property, personal injury or pure economic loss, a necessary condition is that the damage/injury/loss has to be caused ”during work”. The expression "during work" is not explained further in the section of law, but in the legislative history to the Liability of the Damages Act it says that the interpretation of the necessary condition shall be left to the application of the law. 

The intentions behind the vicarious liability are, for example, a rational placement of costs and insurance opportunities, prevention against employees´ damage causing, effective protection for the victim of the damage, and also internalization of costs. In the light of these intentions The Supreme Court and the Labour Court have, in a number of decisions, interpreted and applied the expression “during work”. Since the rule of vicarious liability existed before it was codified, the decisions from before the introduction of the law still give guidance. The question of how the necessary condition “during work” shall be applied has recently been put to the test through two judgements from The Supreme Court in year 2000 and one from The Labour Court in year 2013. Through the decisions, importance has been attached to different interests. An interest that has been prominent is the victim of damages´ interest of compensation. Since it is generally the employer who has the greatest opportunity to compensate arisen damage, the expression “during work” is usually interpreted in a broad sense. In one of the judgements the opposite interest appears – the interest of the employer. If the opportunities to discover an employee´s recklessness or intentional causing of damage are small, the employer should not be held responsible for the damage. Since a lot of different interpretations of the expression “during work” can be done, there is a risk that the rule of law is affected and that the predictability is reduced.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Maja},
  keyword      = {Förmögenhetsrätt,Skadeståndsrätt,Arbetsrätt,Principalansvar},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Principalansvarets tolkningsproblem, en kritisk studie av rekvisitet "i tjänsten"},
  year         = {2013},
}