Victory for Södra in dispute related to the storm Gudrun

Shortly before five years had passed since the storm Gudrun, Växjö District Court gave the first judgment in connection with Södra’s outsourcing agreements (Agreement for Clearing Wind-Felled Forest). During a few hours in January 2005 more than 60 million cubic meters forest fell in the south part of Sweden due to the storm Gudrun. This corresponds to several years of annual felling for the land owners.

Shortly after the storm, Södra was contacted by the Estonian company JobbXtra who offered its services in terms of providing cross-cutting, and mediating felling contractors with machines for clearing forest. Subsequently, the parties entered into agreements for these two services. Furhtermore, Södra entered into agreements directly with the felling contractors mediated by JobbXtra.

Felling work was carried out until the spring 2005 by JobbXtra’s cross-cutters and mediated contractors. Thereafter, the agreements with JobbXtra ceased. In an application for summons in May 2005 JobbXtra claimed its righ to compensation for felling work during the contractual period with approximately SEK 4.0 million. Södra denied JobbXtra’s claims in its entirety, mainly on the basis that JobbXtra, by the paymnets Södra had already made (nearly SEK 6.5 million), had received full and fair compensation.

After just over 4.5 years of proceedings at Växjö District Court, including two weeks of trial, Växjö District Court on December 18, 2009 gave its judgment. According to the District Court, JobbXtra was not entitled to further compensation from Södra, why JobbXtra’s claims were dismissed in its entirety.

Växjö District Court has currently a series of ongoing disputes between different felling contractors and Södra, all of which emanate from the storm Gudrun. There is also a further proceeding against JobbXtra regarding declaration of liability for damages, which is a direct continuation of the judgment now given by Växjö District Court. All disputes are related to the contract type Agreement for Clearing Wind-Felled Forest and its performance requirements which have played a key role in the dispute now settled by Court. The judgment, which is the first in a series of the above mentioned disputes, is therefore of relevance, of principle and as guidance, to these disputes.

Södra was advised by Moll Wendén by attorney Stefan Wendén and attorney Mirja Ekdahl.