The main contractor's objections to the subcontractor's final account

Supreme Court judgment 31 January 2020, HR-2020-228-A, (case no. 19-132407SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against judgment.

Skanska Norge AS (Counsel Asbjørn Lyséll Dølvik), Entreprenørforeningen - Bygg og Anlegg (Counsel Nils-Henrik Pettersson), (EBA) (third-party intervener) v. HGT AS (Counsel Henrik Garmann), Maskinentreprenørenes Forbund (Counsel Arve Martin Bjørnvik) (third-party intervener)

Justices: Møse, Matheson, Falkanger, Ringnes, Falch

Skanska AS (Skanska), the main contractor for construction of administrative buildings and workshops for the Bergen Light Rail, had engaged HGT AS (HGT) as subcontractor. The contract between Skanska and HGT was regulated by NS 8415, which is the standard contract for sub-contracting relationships. Skanska objected to HGT's final claim for payment within the preclusive two-month deadline in NS 8415 section 33.2. The case before the Supreme Court concerned the interpretation of the term "objections", which is used in this section in NS 8415. The Supreme Court stated that the requirement for "objections" may be limited to a declaration of disagreement without further explanation. However, the objections must identify which parts of the final account are disputed, and in a way that a normally sensible contractor can understand it. In the individual assessment, the Supreme Court found unlike the Court of Appeal that Skanska's objections, when read in context, met the requirements in the standard contract. It was evident that Skanska had examined the claims and disputed all claims that had not been explicitly accepted. What was stated had to be sufficient for HGT to understand that the claims were not accepted. The Court of Appeal's judgment was set aside.

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