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*PIL Case Law

Published on August 28th, 2017 | by Olga Papadopoulou

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CJEU C-340/16, Reg.44/2001, Art. 9 (1) and art. 11 (2)- Direct action by the injured party against the insurer

C-340/16

Landeskrankenanstalten-Betriebsgesellschaft – KABEG V.

Mutuelles du Mans assurances – MMA IARD SA,

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Third Chamber), 20 July 2017 (*)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 — Article 9(1) — Article 11(2) — Jurisdiction in matters relating to insurance — Direct action by the injured party against the insurer — Action brought by the employer, a public-law institution, statutory assignee of the rights of its employee, against the insurer of the vehicle involved — Subrogation)

         In those circumstances, the Oberster Gerichtshof (Supreme Court) decided to stay the proceedings and to refer to the Court the following questions for a preliminary ruling:

‘(1)      Is the action brought by an employer established in Austria seeking compensation for the damage passed on to that employer as a result of the continued payment of remuneration to its employee domiciled in Austria a “matter relating to insurance” within the meaning of Article 8 of Regulation No 44/2001, in the case where:

(a)      the employee was injured in a road traffic accident in a Member State (Italy),

(b)      the action is brought against the civil-liability insurer, domiciled in another Member State (France), of the vehicle at fault, and

(c)      the employer is established as a public-law institution with legal personality?

(2)      If the first question is to be answered in the negative:

Should Article 9(1)(b), in conjunction with Article 11(2), of Regulation No 44/2001 be interpreted as meaning that the employer which has continued to pay remuneration can, as an “injured party”, sue the civil-liability insurer of the vehicle at fault in the courts for the place where the employer is domiciled, in so far as such a direct action is permitted?’

On those grounds, the Court (Third Chamber) hereby rules:

Article 9(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, read together with Article 11(2) thereof, must be interpreted as meaning that an employer, established in one Member State, which continued to pay the salary of its employee absent as the result of a road traffic accident and to which have passed the employee’s rights with regard to the company insuring the civil liability resulting from the vehicle involved in that accident, which is established in a second Member State, may, in the capacity of ‘injured party’, within the meaning of Article 11(2), sue the insurance company before the courts of the first Member State, where a direct action is permitted.

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