Consumer law – when a pig in a poke turns out to be a horse

Horse

Don’t you just love those little local Courts?  Nowhere can you find such diversity in case law.

Take for example the decision of 16th October 2013 by the civil Court of First Instance Dinant.  The Court had to rule about a case where a horse was sold which turned out to be injured.

Main question was if the Act of September 1, 2004, concerning the protection of consumers in sales of consumer goods would apply to this sale-purchase.

The Court ruled that a horse is a moveable good in accordance to art. 528 Belgian Civil Code.  Moreover, the seller was considered a professional seller as he was a farmer who regularly sold horses.

The injury of the horse was also considered as a non-conformity and thus the sale-purchase was annulled by the Court.

The Korean Air litigation – Are you nuts?!?

cho

Everybody who has seen ‘Up in the air’ with George Clooney will know: the frequent traveller likes his/her habits.

No wonder, Ms Heather Cho went completely nuts last year on a Korean Air flight when here macademia nuts were served still in the bag, while first class passengers have the right to have them served on a plate.

Happened to be that Ms Cho was also daughter of the CEO of Korean Air.  Without further notice, she forced the crew to return the plane back to the gate for this serious breach of (first class) aviation law.  And at the same time, she could kick the crew member who served her these nuts off her plane.  As it was more or less indeed HER plane.

Unfortunately for her, Korean Court ruled today there was no serious breach on behalf of the crew but found Ms Cho guilty of forcing the plane to change its route, obstructing the flight captain and forcing a crew member off a plane, resulting in 1 year prison sentence.

I wonder how they serve nuts in prison… if they serve them at all…

David Diris – Belgian lawyer – Kocks & Partners – Brussels

Picture: Bloomberg

5 things you should know about the Brussels I bis Regulation (EU 1215/2012)

benmatlock

1.  Since 10th January 2015, the new Brussels I bis Regulation (1215/2012) applies on all new cases brought before Court after this date.  Claims and cases already pending on this date, are not affected.

2.  Brussels I bis is more or less an update of the Brussel I Regulation (44/2001) and will therefore sound very familiar to the experienced cross-border litigator

3.  The Italian and Belgian ‘torpedo’s’ are tackled as the Court appointed by a forum clause will have priority to state whether or not it has the necessary competence.  The Belgian and Italian torpedo’s were known tactics to slow down the whole proceedings, as the Courts in both countries only rule concerning their competence at the end (often after several years).  Together with the rule that other Courts had to await the ruling of the Court where the claim was first brought, one could slow down proceedings by bringing a claim before the Italian or Belgian Courts (notwithstanding a forum clause f.e.)

4.  Foreign judgments no longer need an ‘exequatur‘ (domestication) in the Member State where one wants to execute this jugdment

5.  The Brussels I bis Regulation will also apply if 2 parties are both from outside a Member State but appoint a Court of a Member State in their forum clause

David Diris – Belgian lawyer – Kocks & Partners – Brussels

Legal Awards: prizes with prices (3) – same year, another win!

Edith HeadI am definitely on a roll.  After our firm won both International Litigation Law Firm of the year and Distribution Law Firm of the Year in Belgium, it had become time to also polish my personal success and show my colleagues who is responsible for all these cracking Moët&Chandon Imperial Bruts!

As without any effort – and in all honesty, it was without any effort – I could claim our third prize of the year 2014: Litigation Lawyer of the year in Belgium 2014!  No sharing with teams or offices this time, but my own personal 1,6kg crystal materialization of my success… and only for 250 euros (unless I order 10 or more, then they would make me a deal).

Beware, 2015 will see the rise of the Jordan Belfort of Belgian law!