Claims in construction
Supreme Court judgment 20 November 2020, HR-2020-2254-A, (case no. 19-186990SIV-HRET)
The State represented by the Ministry of Public Transport (The Office of the Attorney General represented by Kristin Hallsjø Aarvik) v. Rambøll Norge AS, Zurich Insurance plc, Norway Branch (Counsel John Gjermund Flatabø)
Justices: Skoghøy, Matheson, Normann, Arntzen, Falch
A consultant employed by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration was responsible for preparing the competition base for a road project. After the construction had started, it became clear that an area stated in the basis was considerably smaller than the actual area, after which the employer made a claim for damages against the consultant for projecting errors under NS 8401 section 13.3, cf. section 13.1. The Supreme Court, having limited the hearing to concern issues related to claims, found that the employer had complained too late. The period allowed for claims commenced when the employer accepted the contractor's operating scheme. This revealed the actual area, which in turn made the employer aware of the projecting error. The Supreme Court also found that around two weeks to process the claim should be sufficient. The claim, which had been made after four weeks, had thus not been made "without undue delay". The consultant had waited around three years to contend that the employer had complained too late. After an overall assessment of the contact between the parties, the Supreme Court concluded that the claim was lost due to passivity. The Court of Appeal's judgment was set aside for the part referred to the Supreme Court.