2016/4/6 - 23 Cdo 4210/2013 (summary)

Judgement of the Supreme Court dated 6 April 2016, file number 23 Cdo 4210/2013

(liability insurance, damages, subrogation recourse)

The decision related to a dispute of a German insurer, as a plaintiff, and a Czech insurer, as a defendant, on payment of EUR 67,462.77 with appurtenances. Subject matter of the case was a road accident of a motorcycle and a car. In the accident the pillion rider was injured, and she lodged a claim for recovery of costs connected with her treatment. The plaintiff insisted that the required amount had been paid to her. The courts of both instances dismissed the action. The plaintiff lodged an application for appellate review of the judgement declared by an appellate court. It namely objected deviation of the appellate court in examining the question of capability of being sued, because contrary to the Council Regulation (EC) No. 864/2007, the appellate court applied the Czech legal legislation instead of the German law.

Regarding the plaintiff’s objections the Supreme Court stated that the Council Regulation (EC) No. 864/2007 may not have been applied to the given case due to the temporal scope, and bore the appellate court out in the question of the governing law. However, the appellate court drew the incorrect conclusion from the appropriate legal provisions concerning the defendant’s capability of being sued. The Supreme Court stated that if the insurer of one of the persons who were jointly liable for damage resulting from the road accident had paid the insurance benefit to the injured person in full, as a result of the payment it was entitled to settlement depending on the extent of individual persons’ participation in the road accident directly towards the insurers of the other persons involved in the road accident. In the Supreme Court’s opinion, a different conclusion would have gone beyond the scope of the legal provisions dealing with mandatory third party liability insurance, requirements for protection of injured persons and a liable person insurance protection. That is why the Supreme Court reversed the judgement of the appellate court and referred the case back to the court for additional examination.