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Case Details

Case Details
National ID link
Medlemsstat Sverige
Common Name link
Decision type Annat
Decision date 20/03/2001
Domstol Högsta Domstolen
Ämne
Kärande
Svarande
Nyckelord

Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 1, 1. Consumer Sales and Guarantees Directive, Article 2, 5.

This case concerned whether there was a sale or a service rendered. Since there is in Swedish law both a Consumer Purchase Act and a Consumer Service Act it may be necessary to make the distinction between them. For various reasons there are differences concerning prescription (among other things) between the two legislations. The first one at the time had a time bar of 2 years whereas in case of services the prescription will be 10 years.
In the case the Supreme court decided that taking into consideration that the value of the heating pan was much larger than that of the costs of installations of the pan and also taking a full view of the circumstances this should be regarded as a consumer purchase rather than a service.
This case concerned the sale of a heating pan and the installation of the same. The sale took place in 1990. In 1996 there was a leak in the heating pan, and the buyer claimed compensation from its insurance company. The insurance company paid out to the buyer but then in its turn made a redress claim against the seller.
The insurance company was of the opinion that the longer prescription time under the service agreement would apply rather than the shorter period according to the consumer purchase act. The seller had the opposite view.
The case was for procedural reasons (in accordance with a particular procedural rules) was
brought as a question directly to the Supreme Court.
The question was whether the particular purchase with the subsequent installation (made by the same firm that supplied the heating pan) should be regarded as a service or as a purchase.
A minority (one judge) in the Supreme Court found that in view of the circumstances the installation was to be seen as a service. The majority (4 judges) discussed the application of the consumer purchase act and the consumer service act, and found that there was in this case a mixed contract, and that it was under the circumstances not wise to distinguish between them in view of the difficulties that may arise in determining causes and the calculation of a price reduction.
Taking into consideration the considerably higher value of the heating pan and that the installation itself was not very complex and that the heating pan retained its identity,
the Supreme Court found that the contract was that of a contract of sale rather than a contract of service. Therefore the short prescription period of the consumer purchase act would apply.
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