JŠK Legal Flash
All damaged parties should have the right to compensation for harm caused by a cartel
In a preliminary ruling procedure, the Court of Justice of the European Union confirmed that the law of the Member States must make it possible for compensation for damages caused by a cartel to be granted to persons who are not direct participants in the market in which the cartel operates. The dispute in the main proceedings was brought by the state of Upper Austria against a cartel of elevator manufacturers. Upper Austria provided soft loans to support the construction of apartment buildings. As a result of the increased elevator prices caused by the cartel, Upper Austria granted a higher volume of loans and the loss it suffered consisted in the opportunity cost of not investing these funds at a higher interest rate. The CJEU concluded that the cartel could also be liable for such damage.
Consequences for not disclosing the Right to Cancel a Life Insurance Contract
In December 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on the interpretation of the Solvency II Directive regarding the right to cancel a life insurance contract and the duty of the insurer to inform customers of the right.
The decision states that if an insurance company doesn't inform its client about their right to cancel a contract or the provided information is severely deficient (the severity would be decided by the court in the case of a dispute), the period to exercise the right to cancel the insurance contract does not run at all - this applies even if the policyholder had learned of the right to cancel from another source, i.e. on TV or the internet. The policyholder would then be entitled to cancel the insurance contract without any time limitation, even if the contract has already been terminated and settled (the client's surrender had already been paid), unless the governing law of the contract provides otherwise.
(The Judgment of the CJEU in cases C-355/18 to C-357/18 and C-479/18 dated 19 December 2019)
Late return of a company car is a legal reason for immediate termination of employment
If an employee (Sales Director) unjustifiably (in breach of an order to return) withholds the employer's property of significant value (company car) for a period of 17 days, the employee has committed a direct attack against the employer's property and has abused his position as an employee whose obligation was to use such property for work-related purposes. Whether the employee's intention was to create "a better negotiating position for further discussions on continuation of his employment" or only withheld the car or was using it for his personal purposes is irrelevant. This attack against the employer's property (though an isolated incident on the part of the employee) constitutes a reason for immediate termination of employment.
(Judgment of the Supreme Court No. 21 Cdo 1631/2018 of 18 September 2019)