We successfully represented Unis Steel Baltija in an appeal to the Lithuanian Supreme Court in a dispute over the quality of goods sold by our client. In the appeal, Unis Steel Baltija challenged the client’s right to claim damages and the limitation period applicable to the claim.
The Lithuanian Supreme Court’s decision develops case law. The Court stated that first of all claims regarding defective items sold should be brought to court (i.e. special defence methods should be applied). A claim for damages can only be pursued when it is impossible to apply special defence methods and when the seller’s liability and illegal acts are determined.
Different decisions by the first instance and appeal courts
A client of Unis Steel Baltija claimed compensation to cover damage incurred when pipes purchased from Unis Steel Baltija had to be replaced with new ones.
The first instance court decided that the claim was about defective items sold, so a shorter limitation period of six months applies. However, the appeal court decided that the claim was for compensation for damage caused by faulty products, so a three-year limitation period applies.
Lithuanian Supreme Court clearly defined ways and conditions for defending buyers’ rights
The Lithuanian Supreme Court stated that a damage compensation claim, to which a three-year limitation period applies, can only be pursued when buyer’s rights cannot be defended by applying special provisions governing the contractual legal relations of sale and purchase. In all other cases a claim for defective items sold should be filed, in which case a six-month limitation period applies.
The team representing the client
Our team representing the client consisted of partner Kęstutis Švirinas, associate Aušra Gaurytė and senior associate Kazimieras Karpickis.