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Konkurrerande förseningsorsaker och entreprenörens rätt till tidsförlängning enligt AB 04

Andersen, Martin LU (2014) JURM02 20142
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
I ett entreprenadavtal regleras det normalt huruvida det är beställaren eller entreprenören som ska bära ansvaret för att en entreprenad försenats. En situation som mer sällan regleras är vem av parterna som ska bära risken om det föreligger konkurrerande förseningsorsaker. Avsikten med förevarande framställning är därför att analysera hur en domstol skulle bedöma en entreprenörs krav på tidsförlängning när det föreligger konkurrerande förseningsorsaker i en kommersiell entreprenad och standardavtalet AB 04 utgör avtalsunderlag mellan parterna. Problemkomplexet avseende konkurrerande förseningsorsaker behandlas inte i AB 04 och det saknas särskild lagstiftning för kommersiella entreprenadavtal. Till följd härav söks framförallt ledning i... (More)
I ett entreprenadavtal regleras det normalt huruvida det är beställaren eller entreprenören som ska bära ansvaret för att en entreprenad försenats. En situation som mer sällan regleras är vem av parterna som ska bära risken om det föreligger konkurrerande förseningsorsaker. Avsikten med förevarande framställning är därför att analysera hur en domstol skulle bedöma en entreprenörs krav på tidsförlängning när det föreligger konkurrerande förseningsorsaker i en kommersiell entreprenad och standardavtalet AB 04 utgör avtalsunderlag mellan parterna. Problemkomplexet avseende konkurrerande förseningsorsaker behandlas inte i AB 04 och det saknas särskild lagstiftning för kommersiella entreprenadavtal. Till följd härav söks framförallt ledning i den allmänna förmögenhetsrätten vid besvarandet av framställningens frågeställningar.

Lösningen på problematiken med konkurrerande förseningsorsaker tar utgångspunkt i en orsaksbedömning. Det innebär att de händelser som orsakat entreprenadens försening måste identifieras. Kan förseningshändelserna särskiljas och relateras till olika delar av förseningen föreligger inte någon orsakskonkurrens. Bedömningen av entreprenörens krav på tidsförlängning kan då normalt ske i enlighet med det mönster som följer av AB 04. Visar emellertid en orsaksbedömning att det föreligger orsakskonkurrens måste bedömningen tas ett steg vidare.

I en situation med konkurrerande förseningsorsaker råder en konflikt mellan två berättigade intressen enligt AB 04: beställarens rätt till förseningsvite och entreprenörens rätt till tidsförlängning. Förevarande framställning förespråkar att nämnda situation i normalfallet ska lösas genom en hälftendelning av ansvaret mellan entreprenören och beställaren. Lösningen närmar sig den som gäller inom skadeståndsrätten när flera skadevållare orsakat en skada och motiveras främst med att det torde vara den lösning som bäst representerar parternas riskfördelning enligt AB 04. Som framgår av framställningen finns det emellertid anledning att variera ovan nämnda lösning i vissa situationer. Lösningen påverkas t.ex. av om förseningen orsakats uppsåtligen av någon av parterna eller om en tidigare försening från entreprenören inneburit att kontraktstiden överskridits.

Om orsaksförhållandena är oklara och förseningshändelserna inte kan identifieras på ett tydligt sätt aktualiseras bevisrättsliga problem. Beviskravet i tvistemål anses normalt vara styrkt men i flera fall där orsaksförhållandena varit särskilt komplicerade och svåröverskådliga har HD istället tillämpat det lägre beviskravet klart mera sannolikt. Vilket beviskrav som kommer att tillämpas när en entreprenör framställer krav på tidsförlängning får anses vara oklart men kommer förmodligen bero på omständigheterna i det enskilda fallet. Framställningen diskuterar även möjligheten att vid oklara orsaksförhållanden fördela ansvaret utifrån proportionalitet. (Less)
Abstract
Normally, the contract governing a construction project regulates whether the contractor or the employer shall bear the risk of a delay. Nevertheless, the parties rarely include in their contract provisions how liability for concurrent delays should be dealt with. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to examine how the Swedish courts would treat claims from a contractor for an extension of time in a situation of concurrent delay. This study is limited to commercial contracts and presupposes that the standard form contract AB 04 applies between the parties. The legal complexity of a concurrent delay is not addressed in AB 04, nor is there any specific legislation governing commercial construction projects. Consequently, guidance in... (More)
Normally, the contract governing a construction project regulates whether the contractor or the employer shall bear the risk of a delay. Nevertheless, the parties rarely include in their contract provisions how liability for concurrent delays should be dealt with. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to examine how the Swedish courts would treat claims from a contractor for an extension of time in a situation of concurrent delay. This study is limited to commercial contracts and presupposes that the standard form contract AB 04 applies between the parties. The legal complexity of a concurrent delay is not addressed in AB 04, nor is there any specific legislation governing commercial construction projects. Consequently, guidance in answering the research questions is mainly sought in the general principles of contract law and tort law.

The proposed solution to the issue of concurrent delay is sought through a causality analysis. In order to conduct a causality analysis the events that have instigated the delay must be identified. If causes to the delay can be clearly defined and attributed to different parts of the delay, the issue of concurrent delay will not arise. The contractor’s claim for extension of time can then normally be assessed in accordance with the standard procedure set forth in AB 04. However, if the issue of concurrent delay does occur the assessment becomes more complicated.

In a situation of concurrent delay a conflict between two entitled claims arises under AB 04. On the one hand, the employer has the right to liquidated damages, and on the other hand, the contractor has the right to an extension of time. This thesis advocates that such situations should be resolved through an equal division of liability for the delay between the contractor and the employer. The advocated solution resembles that used in tort law when multiple wrongdoers are mutually responsible for a damage, and is primarily motivated by the fact that it best represents the parties’ general allocation of risk according to AB 04. Although, as demonstrated in this thesis, there are situations in which the proposed solution should be modified. For example, if the delay has been intentionally caused by one party or if a prior delay attributable to the contractor has caused an exceedance of the contract completion date.

If it cannot be determined in what way various events have influenced a delay, questions regarding the burden of evidence arises. Normally, the standard level of proof in civil proceedings is proven (Swe: styrkt). However, the Swedish Supreme Court has in several cases applied a lower standard of proof in cases where it was particularly complicated to investigate the causes of the occurred delay. It may be deemed unclear which level of proof that should be placed on a claim for extension of time made by a contractor, but would probably depend on the circumstances of the particular case.

Lastly, this thesis discusses the possibility to distribute the liability for delays on the basis of proportionality in situations when it is unclear what impact various events may have had on a delay. (Less)
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author
Andersen, Martin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Concurrent delay and the contractor’s entitlement to extension of time under the standard form contract AB 04
course
JURM02 20142
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
oklara orsakssamband, orsakssamband, förseningsvite, vite, försening, konkurrerande förseningsorsaker, AB 04, entreprenadrätt, förmögenhetsrätt, entreprenadavtal, perpetuatio obligations, casus mixtus cum culpa, NJA 2012 s. 597, ABT 06, beviskrav, tidsförlängning, the malmaison approach
language
Swedish
id
4927068
date added to LUP
2015-01-31 10:25:48
date last changed
2015-01-31 10:25:48
@misc{4927068,
  abstract     = {Normally, the contract governing a construction project regulates whether the contractor or the employer shall bear the risk of a delay. Nevertheless, the parties rarely include in their contract provisions how liability for concurrent delays should be dealt with. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to examine how the Swedish courts would treat claims from a contractor for an extension of time in a situation of concurrent delay. This study is limited to commercial contracts and presupposes that the standard form contract AB 04 applies between the parties. The legal complexity of a concurrent delay is not addressed in AB 04, nor is there any specific legislation governing commercial construction projects. Consequently, guidance in answering the research questions is mainly sought in the general principles of contract law and tort law. 

The proposed solution to the issue of concurrent delay is sought through a causality analysis. In order to conduct a causality analysis the events that have instigated the delay must be identified. If causes to the delay can be clearly defined and attributed to different parts of the delay, the issue of concurrent delay will not arise. The contractor’s claim for extension of time can then normally be assessed in accordance with the standard procedure set forth in AB 04. However, if the issue of concurrent delay does occur the assessment becomes more complicated. 

In a situation of concurrent delay a conflict between two entitled claims arises under AB 04. On the one hand, the employer has the right to liquidated damages, and on the other hand, the contractor has the right to an extension of time. This thesis advocates that such situations should be resolved through an equal division of liability for the delay between the contractor and the employer. The advocated solution resembles that used in tort law when multiple wrongdoers are mutually responsible for a damage, and is primarily motivated by the fact that it best represents the parties’ general allocation of risk according to AB 04. Although, as demonstrated in this thesis, there are situations in which the proposed solution should be modified. For example, if the delay has been intentionally caused by one party or if a prior delay attributable to the contractor has caused an exceedance of the contract completion date. 

If it cannot be determined in what way various events have influenced a delay, questions regarding the burden of evidence arises. Normally, the standard level of proof in civil proceedings is proven (Swe: styrkt). However, the Swedish Supreme Court has in several cases applied a lower standard of proof in cases where it was particularly complicated to investigate the causes of the occurred delay. It may be deemed unclear which level of proof that should be placed on a claim for extension of time made by a contractor, but would probably depend on the circumstances of the particular case. 

Lastly, this thesis discusses the possibility to distribute the liability for delays on the basis of proportionality in situations when it is unclear what impact various events may have had on a delay.},
  author       = {Andersen, Martin},
  keyword      = {oklara orsakssamband,orsakssamband,förseningsvite,vite,försening,konkurrerande förseningsorsaker,AB 04,entreprenadrätt,förmögenhetsrätt,entreprenadavtal,perpetuatio obligations,casus mixtus cum culpa,NJA 2012 s. 597,ABT 06,beviskrav,tidsförlängning,the malmaison approach},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Konkurrerande förseningsorsaker och entreprenörens rätt till tidsförlängning enligt AB 04},
  year         = {2014},
}