Claim for extra payment for disruption

Supreme Court judgment 26 June 2019, HR-2019-1225-A (case no. 18-175510SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against judgment.

Oppland County Authority (Counsel Arve Martin Bjørnvik) (Assisting counsel: Johnny Johansen) v. Hab Construction AS (Counsel Nils-Henrik Pettersson)

Hab Construction AS (Counsel Nils-Henrik Pettersson) v. Oppland County Authority (Counsel Arve Martin Bjørnvik) (Assisting counsel: Johnny Johansen)

Justices: Indreberg, Møse, Noer, Ringnes, Thyness

Following the completion of a road project, the contractor claimed additional compensation for reduced productivity – or "trouble and inconvenience" – and for acceleration. The Supreme Court found that causality for trouble and inconvenience must be established in two steps. First, it must be proved that there have been disruptions or ineffective operation due to the owner's conditions. Then, causality must be substantiated between those conditions and the contractor's extra costs. The contractor must demonstrate which operations were affected by the owner's circumstances, and calculate the extra costs incurred because of that. Causality is established based on specific evidence, but the requirements of evidence cannot be so strict that it becomes practically impossible or unreasonably burdensome to the contractor to present evidence for trouble and inconvenience. As for acceleration, there must also be causality between the owner's conditions and the contractor's compensation. The Court of Appeal had awarded extra compensation for trouble and inconvenience and for acceleration. The amounts were measured by discretion. The measure was not made in accordance with legal requirements for causality for trouble and inconvenience. Also, no individual assessment had been made of causality in the alleged acceleration. This was an error of law. The judgment was set aside to the extent that it was appealed.

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