Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: TSJ de C. Valenciana, (Sala de lo Civil y Penal, Sección 1a) Sentencia num. 3/2013 de 7 mayo
    • Member State: Spain
    • Common Name:link
    • Decision type: Court decision in appeal
    • Decision date: 07/05/2013
    • Court: Superior Court of the Autonomous Community of Valencia
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff: Unknown
    • Defendant: PROCON UNION S.L.
    • Keywords: consumer, trader, unfair terms
  • Directive Articles
    Unfair Contract Terms Directive, Article 3, 1. Unfair Contract Terms Directive, ANNEX I, 1., (q)
  • Headnote
    Sole shareholdership and limited assets do not affect the condition as trader of a mercantile company.
  • Facts
    The plaintiff, an individual, bought a house from the defendant, a company with a sole shareholder whose purpose was the promotion and sale of constructions and whose only asset was the house sold to the consumer. A controversy arose with regard to the contract and it was resolved before an arbitration court, as the contract included an arbitration submission clause. The plaintiff argues that he is to be considered a consumer and the defendant is to be considered a trader, and therefore the arbitration submission clause ought to be declared unfair since it is not a consumer arbitration.
  • Legal issue
    In the court's opinion, it is irrelevant whether the composition of the ownership, the assets owned by the company,its purpose and its behavior are the ones usual for a mercantile company. Therefore, the court ruled that as long as a mercantile company develops its registered purpose, it must have the nature of a trader in transactions.
  • Decision

    Is a company composed by a sole shareholder and with the house object of the contract as its single asset, to be considered a trader in the meaning set out in the Spanish Consumer Protection Act?

    Full text: Full text

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  • Result
    The arbitration submission clause was declared unfair, since the consumer regulations were applicable, and they prescribe that a controversy between a trader and a consumer may only be subject to arbitration once the dispute has arisen, and not before, unless the submission set out in the contract is before a Consumer Arbitration Court.