The health center in Elverum was under construction in 2018 when the fire started. There was smoke because the wrong voltage was connected between two units. This resulted in a short circuit and overheating in a room in the building.
The fire was quickly extinguished, but it led to several compensation claims from contractors who had taken part in the work on the building.
The parties did not agree, and the case came up in the Østre Innlandet district court.
It was Estate Nyheter that mentioned the case first.
An appeal led to a harsher sentence
The verdict there ended with the company being sentenced to pay NOK 4 million in compensation, but that the parties themselves had to cover their own legal costs. This was then appealed to the Court of Appeal.
But – the appeal actually led to a harsher sentence.
The Eidsivating Court of Appeal believes that Ringsaker Elektro must pay NOK 5 million in damages, in addition to almost NOK 2 million in court costs to both courts.
The company’s insurance company covers all these expenses.
The judgment from the Court of Appeal is clear about where the responsibility lies.
“Following this, there is both a factual and a legal causal connection between the faulty connection and the damage to all three injured parties,” the judgment states.
Hardly any further to the Supreme Court
The company’s lawyer Dag Ludvig Furu says that he disagrees with parts of the judgment, but that it is difficult to appeal this further to the Supreme Court.
– In that case, it must be up to the application of the law. This is a narrow gate, but we have not taken a final decision on this.
– Was it a misjudgment on your part to recommend appealing when this ended up with a harsher sentence?
– You can always say that in the name of hindsight, but we did not mean that at the time the judgment from the district court was available, says Furu.
– Non-professional co-judges
The chairman of Ringsaker Elektro, Erik Nytrøen, says that he is disappointed and strongly disagrees with the verdict.
– The court is clear that it is not gross negligence. I would also like to point out that expert co-judges have not been used. This could perhaps have led to a different result, he says.