Berendsen successful before the Swedish Supreme Court
The Berendsen Group has been successful before the Swedish Supreme Court in a decisive sub-claim against Electrolux which is connected to the contamination of a number of previous Electrolux properties. Plesner acted as the lead counsel for Berendsen in the matter.
In 1991, our long-standing client, Berendsen, a market leader in Northern Europe in the textile service business, bought Electrolux' Swedish laundry division with more than 50 properties. It subsequently turned out that many of the properties were contaminated and for a number of years Electrolux paid Berendsen compensation under an environmental warranty.
In 2008, Electrolux stopped all payments without notice even though the parties found that there were many outstanding instances of contamination. Electrolux claimed that Berendsen's claim had become time-barred. Berendsen then brought a legal action against Electrolux.
Since 1991, Berendsen has gone through several reorganisations and the Berendsen company that originally purchased the Electrolux properties has ceased to exist. This has complicated the case as Electrolux was of the opinion that only the original Berendsen company could bring an action against Electrolux. After many years, this question has now been finally settled in Berendsen's favour by the Swedish Supreme Court after having been before two arbitration tribunals and then through the Swedish courts system.
The Swedish Supreme Court held in favour of Berendsen and found that the Berendsen company that had brought the legal action is entitled to bring the legal action about property contamination and time-bar. At the same time, Electrolux was ordered to compensate Berendsen's legal costs of more than DKK 9 million, which is a very large amount in a case regarding formality issues. The ruling means that the issue of the alleged time-bar can now be heard on its merits.
The case has been conducted in close collaboration with the Swedish-Finnish law firm Roschier.