We provided legal assistance to a food and non-food retail company in a civil action brought by a natural person against a company for damages of EUR 25,000. By the decision of an action session of the Senate, initiation of cassation proceedings in connection with the cassation complaint of the natural person was refused, therefore the judgment of the regional court has come into force, completely rejecting the claim of the natural person against the company.
Circumstances of the case
The natural person purchased a meat product in the company’s store, and later found signs of damage. The person complained about this to the Food and Veterinary Service (FVS). After an inspection of the store by the FVS, inconsistencies in the marking of the goods, unrelated to the quality of the goods, were found. On the basis of the FVS decision, the natural person applied to the court for EUR 25,000 compensation for moral damages.
Findings of the regional court
The court of first instance upheld the part of the claim determining compensation of EUR 100 for moral damages, against which the company filed an appeal.
The regional court decided to reject the claim completely by not establishing the preconditions for a claim for moral damages. The court found that non-conformity of the label does not itself give rise to the right to compensation for moral damages. The court also recognised that it is plausible that purchasing a low-quality food product may cause the consumer disappointment, dissatisfaction, upset, anger or other negative emotions; however, these emotions must be distinguished from mental suffering that causes harm. The court considers that the case does not establish a causal relationship between the non-compliance of the company with labelling of goods found by the FVS and the circumstances on which the applicant based the claim of mental damage caused to it.
The applicant filed a cassation complaint against the judgment of the appellate court. However, the College of Senators decided not to initiate cassation proceedings. Thus, the judgment of the regional court has now come into force.
The client was represented by partner Andris Tauriņš. Valuable contribution and support was also provided by associates Krista Niklase and Artūrs Kazāks, as well as assistant lawyer Sabīne Stirniņa.
Read here about the previous developments of the case.