Spain 12 May 2008 Appellate Court Valencia (GPS radio systems equipment case)
[Cite as: http://cisgw3.law.pace.edu/cases/080512s4.html]
DATE OF DECISION:
CASE NUMBER/DOCKET NUMBER: Recurso de Apelación No. 51/2006
CASE HISTORY: 1st instance Juzgado de Primera Instancia No. 1 de Valencia 30 June 2007
SELLER'S COUNTRY: Reino Unido
BUYER'S COUNTRY: Spain
GOODS INVOLVED: GPS radio systems equipment
SPAIN: Valencia Provincial High Court  12 May 2008
Case law on UNCITRAL texts [A/CN.9/SER.C/ABSTRACTS/147],
CLOUT abstract no. 1387
Reproduced with permission of UNCITRAL
The Spanish buyer and the English seller concluded a contract for the sale of 40 GPS-equipped radio sets to be subsequently leased to a golf club. The seller brought a suit for breach against the buyer in connection with payment of the price. The buyer, on the other hand, claimed that the seller exhibited clear negligence by never properly installing the appliances specified in the contract, which caused a large number of problems in operating them and that the seller also did not correctly provide the technical assistance service provided for in the contract. For this reason, the buyer did not pay some of the stipulated price and issued an invoice for the costs that had been directly incurred. The lower court, in the light of the evidence provided, upheld the seller's challenge in its entirety and ordered the buyer to pay some of the unpaid price.
Both parties appealed. The appeals court considered the relationship between the parties to be governed by 1(1)(a) CISG, noting no exclusions of the Convention of any kind, and did not suggest that this could be deduced from the fact that the price was specified in euros and not in pounds sterling.
The Court held that the seller had delivered the goods and therefore, in accordance with articles 53 and 59 CISG, there was an obligation to pay the price. In response, the non-observance of the seller was cited in terms of the poor installation, operation and maintenance of the goods supplied on the basis of the “exceptio non rite adimpleti contractus” (exception due to contractual breach). The burden of proof of the deficient non-compliance falls on the buyer, which failed to sufficiently prove breach of contract since it only presented one witness, one of its employees, while there were other witnesses who testified differently. The Court took the view that expert opinion would have been required given the eminently technical nature of the disagreement.
Similarly, from the date of installation of the GPS devices in May 2004 until November 2005, the seller had no record of any complaint from the buyer which, in the opinion of the Court, greatly exceeded the reasonable period of time mentioned in article 39 CISG.
1. Previously heard by Valencia Court of First Instance No. 11, 30 June 2007.
APPLICATION OF CISG: Yes [Article 1(1)(a)]
APPLICABLE CISG PROVISIONS AND ISSUES
Key CISG provisions at issue:
Classification of issues using UNCITRAL classification code numbers:
CITATIONS TO OTHER ABSTRACTS OF DECISION
Spanish: CISG-Spain and Latin America website <http://www.cisgspanish.com/seccion/jurisprudencia/espana/?provincia=Valencia>
CITATIONS TO TEXT OF DECISION
Original language (Spanish): CISG-Spain and Latin America website <http://www.cisgspanish.com/jurisprudencia/espana/audiencia-provincial-de-valencia-12-mayo-2008/>; see also Fuente: Aranzadi Westlaw
CITATIONS TO COMMENTS ON DECISION
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