Liability for responsible applicant under the Planning and Building Act

Supreme Court judgment 7 February 2020, HR-2020-312-A, (case no. 19-086589SIV-HRET), civil case, appeal against judgment.

Solem Arkitektur AS
(Counsel Gunnar Sørlie)

Arkitektbedriftene i Norge (third-party intervener)
(Counsel Steffen Asmundsson)

v.

Tommy Øvsthus Engvik
Henrik Tvervåg
Vibeke Leirfall
Johann Agust Sigurdsson
Geir Rønnich Olsen
Ingvill Engvik Øvsthus
Lisa Marie Fagertun
Linn Okkenhaug Getz
(Counsel Dag Herrem)

Justices: Webster, Kallerud, Bergsjø, Ringnes, Østensen Berglund

Four newly built residences in Trondheim turned out to have significant defects, primarily related to inadequate construction standards. The architect firm that acted as responsible applicant for the project had not appointed a responsible planner for buildings and installations. The Supreme Court stated that the failure to operate with a responsible planner for the project was sufficient alone to conclude that the architect firm's employees had caused the buyers' loss by negligence, see section 2-1 of the Compensatory Damages Act. The Supreme Court also found that the house buyers' interests were protected by tort law. It was pointed out that they were first-time buyers of new residences, that the architect firm had committed a serious breach of duty and that the residences had massive defects. The Court of Appeal had awarded damages to the buyers equaling the repair costs. The appeal against the Court of Appeal's judgment was dismissed.

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