United Arab Emirates: Labeled Liable (Part II)

Last Updated: 7 June 2017
Article by George SK
Most Read Contributor in United Arab Emirates, August 2018

"Surround yourself with assets, not liabilities."

Introduction

Liability is a billion-dollar word. Legally, socially and morally, all actions are subject to and governed by a sense of moderation. A civil liability claim and the concept of abatement go hand in hand since a claim can only sustain its validity during a particular time frame.

While part one of this article touched on the essential aspects of both civil and criminal liability, exemptions to liability, and the fundamental pillars upon which a civil suit survives, this article goes further to describe the dynamic concept of abatement in civil suits and explicates with a brief case study.

Despite the fact that the term abatement comes from the French word for batter, abatement doesn't usually hold a negative standing––while abatement reduces something, it doesn't necessarily beat it to a pulp. In civil suits, the focal purpose of abatement is to save time and expenses of a trial in the case where the plaintiff's suit cannot be attained in the original form in which it was presented.

Article (111) of the Commercial Transactions Lawi of UAE is responsible for governing the clause of abatement. It provides that in the case of a defect the purchaser shall notify the Vendor within fifteen days of the date on which the item sold is actually delivered to him, and he must file the action for rescission or reduction of the price within sixty days of such delivery date. However, if the defect is hidden and cannot be detected by a routine examination, the purchaser must then notify the vendor immediately when he discovers it, and lodge the action in warranty of the defect within six months of the date of actual delivery, unless there is an agreement to the contrary. Where the purchaser does not notify the vendor of the difference or defect, or if he does not file the action for rescission, price reduction or defect warranty within the period as the case may be, his action shall not be heard unless the purchaser proves vendor's cheating. Even so, the action shall not be heard if lodged after the lapse of one year of the delivery date.

Case Study

Moving further, the below-mentioned case study shall provide for an example of a civil liability claim between two parties in a commercial sale:

The two companies (A) & (B) made a contract upon which (A) supplied (B) with cabling and steel pipes. Both parties mutually agreed on A demonstrating the way such cables and steel pipes are installed, and it would be B's role to install them under A's supervision. The cabling and pipes functioned for five years post-installation after which some faults occurred. Upon inspection of the equipment, it occurred that some damage or deterioration was found in the cables and steel piping. (B) assigned a specialist to inspect them. The latter submitted a report stating that the reason of the faults could be mal-installation, material defects or external factors; the expert did not resolve the cause of the damage. Thereafter, (B) notified (A) with a request to replace the defective goods. On signing the contract, both companies had agreed that the guarantee period shall be one year as of the date of installation and two years maximum as of the date of supplying.

The question arises: What is the legal position of (A), if (B) filed a liability claim against (A)? And what is company (B)'s legal status in respect of this liability claim? Let's find out.

Evidentiary Support

The claim must be backed with evidence: all legislations, whether national legislations or comparative legislations, require the defendant to submit evidence. However, it is not sufficient that the plaintiff submits evidence upon its own findings. This means that such evidence must be reasonable and pursuant to law. It cannot be biased evidence that might be tampered with for a prejudicial reason. Judgments shall not be based on doubt but on facts. Article 1/1 of the UAE Federal Law of Evidenceii states that "Plaintiff shall prove his claim and the defendant shall deny thereof".

We see that company (B) does not have conclusive evidence proving that the liability that occurred is due to the negligence of company (A)'s work since the expert did not zero in on a specific reason. Since their evidence is based on doubt, it is considered invalid and is not fit to prove the subject matter of its claim.

It is imperative to note that doubt is always interpreted to be in favor of the debtor. It is suspicion, or a result thereof if any pre-conceived assumptions exist.

The aforementioned expertise report has to be considered valid, and for it to be so, it must be compatible with a putative report that is to be issued by a commissioner with the relevant jurisdiction.

Responsibility of Company A

The following three prospects are to be taken into consideration which renders the company (A) not responsible for the claim of the company (B):

  1. If the materials used to create the products are of poor or inferior quality or manufactured by a foreign cause, it precludes company (A)'s responsibility of the faulty products.
  2. The focal point of the signed agreement is that company (A) is only responsible for explaining how the product must be installed by the company (B) and supervising their attempted installation. Nowhere does it state that company (A) installs the product themselves. Their company only owes education and oversight. As we notice, the company (B) did not allege that company (A) failed in their obligation to provide the appropriate scientific curricula, because they didn't. They followed their contract to the 'T' and performed their contractual obligation. In this case, the trainee failed to fulfill and receive the scientific curricula; hence, it is not the trainer's responsibility if the commodity is damaged.
  3. The expert's report cited 'external factors' as a probable cause for damage of products, which would remove responsibility from company (A)'s shoulders.
  4. With regard to the agreed warranty between Company (A) and Company (B), the two companies had agreed that the company (A) would ensure the safety of the goods for one year from the date of installation, with a maximum warranty of up to two years from the date of installation. Since it has been five years, and this period has been extended, it is not permissible for the company (B) to ask for any damages caused to the goods.

Conclusion

Typically, product liability claims are based on state laws and brought under the theories of negligence, strict liability or breach of warranty. A set of commercial statutes in every country will contain warranty rules affecting product liability. As we notice from the aforementioned case study, liability claims are complex and subjective to each case. The signed agreement between both parties in the case study protected company (A) from a liability claim that they weren't responsible for due to previously stipulated warranty agreements. Care should be taken as regards to the laws of each country regarding liability claims and the contracts that parties have willingly agreed to so as to ensure premium protection.

 Footnotes

i Federal Law No. 18 of 1993

ii Federal Law No. 10 of 1992

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions