The buyer had not obtained ownership from the bank

The case

A transport company had leased 5 trucks and trailers from a bank. In connection with the agreement in the leasing contracts, the bank handed over both the first and the second part of the vehicle registration documents to the transport company.

The transport company sold the 5 trucks to a company that dealt in, among other things, used trucks. The company resold the 5 trucks to smaller companies.

Later, the bank could not find the truck and therefore hired a detective and reported this fact and the disappearance of the truck to the police. The bank has also filed a claim for damages against the company.

The claims of the plaintiff and the defendant

The plaintiff/the bank claimed that the defendant/the company acted in breach of its duty and that it is liable for damages for the bank’s losses.

In support of her assertion, she claimed that the company knew, or should have known, that the bank owned the trucks.

The Company contended that it should not be held liable because it had acted in good faith. She had bought the trucks from the transport company and in connection with this she received both the first and second parts of the vehicle registration documents. Based on that, she had no reason to believe that the seller was not authorized to sell the trucks.

The verdict of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled that the company had shown a high degree of negligence in connection with the purchase of the trucks and therefore had not obtained ownership from the bank. For these reasons, the company had to be liable to the bank.

Regarding the bank’s own fault, the Supreme Court ruled that this was not a reason to reduce the compensation in whole or in part.

The bank had given the company no reason to suspect that the bank had waived its rights. For this reason, the bank’s claim was not extinguished through passivity.

The Supreme Court ordered the company to pay compensation to the bank and the company was also ordered to pay the legal costs.


The verdict was the decision of the majority of the Supreme Court justices. The minority wanted to acquit society. According to the minority, the company was not aware that the sale of the trucks was in conflict with the bank’s rights and the company should not have had any other suspicions. Therefore, the company had not acted in breach of duty and was not liable for damages.

I also note that the majority of the supreme court had emphasized that the bank was at fault because it could have significantly reduced its exposure to the unauthorized sale if it had not handed over the second part of the vehicle registration documents to the seller.

Referring to the Supreme Court minority, it is not unlikely that the Society will be able to obtain an acquittal in another similar matter.

For more information, please call Advocate Anders Stig Vestergaard on the telephone number or email below.

The above article is written by lawyer Anders Stig Vestergaard.

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