16/07/2022 09:30

Claiming compensation when the deposited property is damaged in Vietnam

Claiming compensation when the deposited property is damaged in Vietnam

Property depository relationship is one of the civil relations specified in the Civil Code 2015 of Vietnam. According to the Law, the property depository relationship arises when the bailee receives the depositor's property for preservation and returns the same property to the sender, the sender pays wages to the holder. The parties establish this relationship by entering into a contract to keep the property.

However, in the process of depositing the property, damage to the depositor's property may occur, giving rise to conflicts and disputes between the parties. Then, how will the Court resolve this dispute?

In the appellate civil judgment 53/2021/DSPT dated April 7, 2021 on the dispute over the property depository contract between the plaintiff Ms. Nguyen Thi P, and the defendant Mr. Nguyen Kim T, the summary is as follows:

“Mr. Nguyen Kim T's family has a cold store to preserve seed potatoes. In February 2019, Mrs. Nguyen Thi P brought 260kg of seed potatoes to Mr. T's cold storage. She sent the potatoes directly to Mr. T. Mr. T weighed the number of potatoes, not checking the quality of the potatoes. The grandparents did not sign a written contract, but only made an oral agreement with a sending price of 2,400 VND/kg, sending time from February 2019 to September 2019, she paid him 620,000 VND in advance.

In September 2019, she came to collect potatoes for her family to plant, he delivered enough 260kg of potato seeds. A few days later, she checked that the potatoes were solid, when she removed them, she found that the middle was hollow, black and swollen around, dead embryos could not be planted. She went to Mr. T's house to ask him for compensation, but he was not willing to solve it but also challenged him. Ms. P filed a lawsuit asking Mr. T to compensate her for all damaged potatoes worth VND 4,160,000 and to refund the deposit of VND 620,000 to keep the potatoes.

The People's Court of BN province announced that it partially accepted Ms. P's petition because it found that both parties were at fault, forcing Mr. T to compensate her with the value of half of the seed potatoes sent, which was 2,080,000. VND and the deposit amount is 310,000 VND, totaling 2,390,000 VND.

In the above judgment, Mr. T and Mrs. P entered into a contract to keep the property, the property being kept here is 260kg of potato seeds, and the contract was signed by oral agreement with each other. The submission period is from February 2019 to September 2019.

The Civil Code 2015 of Vietnam clearly stipulates the rights and obligations of the parties in the property depository contract, specifically as follows:

For the property depositor (Article 555, Article 556 Civil Code 2015):

- Request to take back the property at any time, if the depository contract does not specify the term, but must notify the custodian a reasonable time in advance.

Claim compensation for damage, if the keeper loses or damages the deposited property, except for force majeure cases.

- When handing over the property, the custodian must immediately notify the custodian of the condition of the property and take appropriate measures to preserve the deposited property; if the depositor fails to notify, but the deposited property is destroyed or damaged due to not being properly preserved, the depositor must bear it; If damage is caused, compensation must be made.

- To pay wages in full, on time, and in accordance with the agreed method.

For the property holder (Article 557, Article 558 Civil Code 2015)

- Request the sender to pay wages as agreed.

- Request the sender to pay reasonable expenses for preserving the property in case of unpaid deposit.

- Request the sender to receive the property at any time, but must give the sender a reasonable time in advance in the case of indefinite custody.

- Sell the deposited property which is in danger of being damaged or destroyed in order to secure the interests of the depositor, notify the depositor and pay the depositor the proceeds from the sale of the property, after deducting legal costs. reason to sell the property.

- Preserve the property in accordance with the agreement, and return the property to the sender in the same condition as when it was held.

- Change the way of preserving property only if the change is necessary to better preserve such property, but must immediately notify the sender of the change.

- To promptly notify the sender of the risk of damage or destruction of the property due to the nature of such property and request the sender to know how to deal with it within a time limit; if the sender does not reply within that time limit, the holder has the right to take necessary measures to preserve it and request the sender to pay the costs.

To compensate for damage, if loss or damage to the deposited property, except in case of force majeure.

In the stated judgment, Ms. P is the depositor of the property, she sent 260kg of potato seeds to Mr. T. Since her deposited property was damaged, she has the right to request Mr. T to pay compensation for the damage. However, she was also at fault when she received the seed potatoes that were not checked and did not bring the damaged potatoes to assess the cause of the damaged potatoes to determine the responsibility for compensation.

Mr. T is the property holder in the property deposit contract with Mrs. P. After receiving the seed potatoes that were deposited at Mr. T's place, Ms. P discovered that the potatoes were damaged. Mr. T was at fault when he received the potatoes sent by Mrs. P, did not check the quality, when storing, the chiller was damaged and did not notify the plaintiff about the incident after the repair was completed. The air conditioning system does not check if the seed potatoes are affected. Therefore, Mr. T is responsible for compensating Ms. P.

It is because both parties are at fault when entering into a contract to keep the property, resulting in Mrs. P's seed potatoes being damaged and unable to be planted. The Court did not re-check the quality of the potatoes, so the Court accepted a part of Ms. P's claim for damages, asking Mr. T to compensate half of the value of the potatoes. This helps both parties learn from experience and be more careful when entering into a contract to keep the property next time.

The nature of the contract of deposit is that the depositor transfers the temporary possession of the deposited property to the bailee to keep and preserve that property, it can be seen that this relationship arises based on the mutual trust between the parties. However, the conclusion of the contract must still be made clearly, both the depositor and the consignee keeping the property must be responsible for preserving and preserving the property; strictly check the quality as well as the quantity of the deposited assets to avoid unnecessary disputes between the parties.

Xuan Hien

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