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Grov vårdslöshet och ansvarsbegränsningar - en studie avseende oreglerade immateriella tjänster i konsumentförhållanden

Roberts, Linn LU (2017) JURM02 20172
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Det förekommer flertalet oreglerade immateriella tjänster inom svensk rätt, där uppdragstagaren, med hänvisning till avtalsfriheten, fritt kan begränsa sitt skadeståndsansvar genom ansvarsbegränsningar. Debatt har förts om grov vårdslöshet kan agera som en självständig grund för att åsidosätta en ansvarsbegränsning, i uppsatsen hänvisad till som ogiltighetsprincipen. I NJA 2017 s. 113 tas frågan upp till behandling och utfallet blir att den rättsliga kontrollen av ansvarsbegränsningar vid eventuell grov vårdslöshet ska göras inom ramen för 36 § AvtL. Uppsatsens syfte är att utreda konsumentskyddet vid ansvarsbegränsningar av skadeståndet när skador orsakats av grov vårdslöshet.

Inom svensk rätt föreligger avtalsrättsliga grundprinciper... (More)
Det förekommer flertalet oreglerade immateriella tjänster inom svensk rätt, där uppdragstagaren, med hänvisning till avtalsfriheten, fritt kan begränsa sitt skadeståndsansvar genom ansvarsbegränsningar. Debatt har förts om grov vårdslöshet kan agera som en självständig grund för att åsidosätta en ansvarsbegränsning, i uppsatsen hänvisad till som ogiltighetsprincipen. I NJA 2017 s. 113 tas frågan upp till behandling och utfallet blir att den rättsliga kontrollen av ansvarsbegränsningar vid eventuell grov vårdslöshet ska göras inom ramen för 36 § AvtL. Uppsatsens syfte är att utreda konsumentskyddet vid ansvarsbegränsningar av skadeståndet när skador orsakats av grov vårdslöshet.

Inom svensk rätt föreligger avtalsrättsliga grundprinciper såsom avtalsfrihet, avtalsbundenhet och skyddsprincipen. Den sistnämnda har gett upphov till tvingande lagstiftning vilket sammanfaller med utgångspunkten i uppsatsen, att det föreligger ett uttalat konsumentskydd. I KtjL är näringsidkarens ansvarsgrund tvingande. Ansvarsgrunden inom oreglerade immateriella tjänster är ett culpaansvar, och detta ansvar är inte tvingande, varför ansvarsbegränsningar kan tillämpas. En skälighetsbedömning av ansvarsbegränsning utförs enligt 36 § AvtL:s för att avgöra om den ger upphov till en skälig omfördelning av riskerna.

Det förekommer lagstiftning och avgöranden som stadgar att ansvarsbegränsningar inte ska upprätthållas vid grov vårdslöshet. I NJA 2017 s. 113 diskuteras ogiltighetsprincipens existens och HD menar att tillkomsten av 36 § AvtL möjligen åsidosatte ogiltighetsprincipen. HD anser därtill att 36 § AvtL ger upphov till en flexibilitet i bedömningen, medan ogiltighetsprincipen ger dålig vägledning i bedömningen då begreppet grov vårdslöshet varierar beroende på sammanhanget. HD tillämpar 36 § AvtL i bedömningen av ansvarsbegränsning, men den jämkas inte.

I analysen framhålls att i och med att en ansvarsbegränsning inte, per automatik, åsidosätts vid grov vårdslöshet medför det att konsumentskyddet skiljer sig i stor grad från tvingande lagstiftning. HD har i bedömningen av ansvarsbegränsningen förbisett viktiga faktorer och resultatet i domen påvisar att 36 § AvtL inte kan anses upprätthålla ett tillräckligt konsumentskydd vid grov vårdslöshet. Ogiltighetsprincipen bör, enligt min mening, tillämpas på ansvarsbegränsningar där skadevållaren agerat grovt vårdslöst, medan 36 § AvtL bör tillämpas på resterande ansvarsbegränsningar. (Less)
Abstract
There are several unregulated intangible services (Swe: immateriella tjänster) within the Swedish law, where a contractor, with reference to freedom of contract, can limit their contractual liability by using limitation of liability clauses. A debate has taken place regarding gross negligence and whether or not it can act as an independent reason for breaching a limitation of liability clause, in the essay referred to as the principle of invalidity. In NJA 2017 s. 113, the issue was discussed and the outcome was that in case of gross negligence the legal control of limitation of liability should be done within Section 36 of the Swedish Acts of Contracts (AvtL). The purpose of the essay is to investigate the consumer protection within... (More)
There are several unregulated intangible services (Swe: immateriella tjänster) within the Swedish law, where a contractor, with reference to freedom of contract, can limit their contractual liability by using limitation of liability clauses. A debate has taken place regarding gross negligence and whether or not it can act as an independent reason for breaching a limitation of liability clause, in the essay referred to as the principle of invalidity. In NJA 2017 s. 113, the issue was discussed and the outcome was that in case of gross negligence the legal control of limitation of liability should be done within Section 36 of the Swedish Acts of Contracts (AvtL). The purpose of the essay is to investigate the consumer protection within limitation of tort liability when damages have been caused by gross negligence.

There are fundamentals of contract within the Swedish law, such as pacta sunt servanda, freedom of contract and principle of protection (swe: skyddsprincipen). The latter has given rise to non-optional legislation, which coincides with the premises of the essay that a consumer protection exists within the Swedish law. Within the Consumer of Services Act the ground of liability for the trader is non-optional. The ground of liability within unregulated intangible services is a fault liability that is optional, thus why limitation of liability can be used. An overall assessment of the limitation of liability is performed in accordance with Section 36 AvtL to determine if it creates a fair redistribution of the risks of the contract.

Several laws and judicial decisions stipulate that limitations of liability should not be maintained in the event of gross negligence. In NJA 2017 p.113, the existence of the principle of invalidity is discussed and the Swedish Supreme Court argues that the principle of invalidity may have been set aside when the Section 36 AvtL came into effect. Furthermore, the Swedish Supreme Court considers that the Section 36 AvtL creates flexibility in the assessment compared to the principle of invalidity, which does the opposite, since the concept of gross negligence varies depending on the context. The Court applies Section 36 AvtL on the limitation of liability within the contract, but the clause is not adjusted.

The analysis emphasizes that since a limitation of liability is not automatically set-aside if gross negligence has taken place, the consumer protection differs significantly from non-compulsory legislation. In the assessment of the limitation of liability, the Swedish Supreme Court has overlooked important factors, and the results show that the Section 36 AvtL cannot be considered to maintain adequate consumer protection in the event of gross negligence. The principle of invalidity should be applied on limitation of liability clauses when the person liable for damages has acted grossly negligent, while Section 36 AvtL should be applied to the remaining limitations of liability. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Roberts, Linn LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Gross negligence and limitations of liability - a study regarding unregulated intangible services within consumer relations
course
JURM02 20172
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
avtalsrätt, ansvarsbegränsningar, grov vårdslöshet
language
Swedish
id
8929785
date added to LUP
2018-01-25 08:24:45
date last changed
2018-01-25 08:24:45
@misc{8929785,
  abstract     = {There are several unregulated intangible services (Swe: immateriella tjänster) within the Swedish law, where a contractor, with reference to freedom of contract, can limit their contractual liability by using limitation of liability clauses. A debate has taken place regarding gross negligence and whether or not it can act as an independent reason for breaching a limitation of liability clause, in the essay referred to as the principle of invalidity. In NJA 2017 s. 113, the issue was discussed and the outcome was that in case of gross negligence the legal control of limitation of liability should be done within Section 36 of the Swedish Acts of Contracts (AvtL). The purpose of the essay is to investigate the consumer protection within limitation of tort liability when damages have been caused by gross negligence. 

There are fundamentals of contract within the Swedish law, such as pacta sunt servanda, freedom of contract and principle of protection (swe: skyddsprincipen). The latter has given rise to non-optional legislation, which coincides with the premises of the essay that a consumer protection exists within the Swedish law. Within the Consumer of Services Act the ground of liability for the trader is non-optional. The ground of liability within unregulated intangible services is a fault liability that is optional, thus why limitation of liability can be used. An overall assessment of the limitation of liability is performed in accordance with Section 36 AvtL to determine if it creates a fair redistribution of the risks of the contract. 

Several laws and judicial decisions stipulate that limitations of liability should not be maintained in the event of gross negligence. In NJA 2017 p.113, the existence of the principle of invalidity is discussed and the Swedish Supreme Court argues that the principle of invalidity may have been set aside when the Section 36 AvtL came into effect. Furthermore, the Swedish Supreme Court considers that the Section 36 AvtL creates flexibility in the assessment compared to the principle of invalidity, which does the opposite, since the concept of gross negligence varies depending on the context. The Court applies Section 36 AvtL on the limitation of liability within the contract, but the clause is not adjusted. 

The analysis emphasizes that since a limitation of liability is not automatically set-aside if gross negligence has taken place, the consumer protection differs significantly from non-compulsory legislation. In the assessment of the limitation of liability, the Swedish Supreme Court has overlooked important factors, and the results show that the Section 36 AvtL cannot be considered to maintain adequate consumer protection in the event of gross negligence. The principle of invalidity should be applied on limitation of liability clauses when the person liable for damages has acted grossly negligent, while Section 36 AvtL should be applied to the remaining limitations of liability.},
  author       = {Roberts, Linn},
  keyword      = {avtalsrätt,ansvarsbegränsningar,grov vårdslöshet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Grov vårdslöshet och ansvarsbegränsningar - en studie avseende oreglerade immateriella tjänster i konsumentförhållanden},
  year         = {2017},
}