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Pilot's liability to pay damages for discontinuing service upheld by the Danish Supreme Court

April 2005 - Employment. Legal Developments by Norrbom Vinding Law Firm, member of ius laboris.

More articles by this firm.

In its judgment of 13 January 2005, the Danish Supreme Court found for the Danish Ministry of Defence in respect of the Ministry's claim that a pilot was liable to pay damages for discontinuing his service 17 months prior to the expiry of his term of 13 years (until attaining the age of 33).

Emphasising that the discontinuation was due to reasons attributable to the pilot, the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion as did the Danish Western High Court in the original judgment, which has previously been commented on here on this site. The Supreme Court, however, also upheld the Ministry's claim that damages could be calculated as a prorated share of the actual training costs, which were rounded off at DKK 440,000 by the Supreme Court.

The judgment from the Supreme Court

  • confirms the validity of the declarations of the duty to serve used by the Danish Ministry of Defence and of the liability to pay damages when discontinuing the term of service, which is usually of a long duration, and
  • contributes considerably to the relatively limited case law on the duty to serve/trainee agreements and the issue of liability in case of premature discontinuation of service.

For more information please contact:
Marianne Granhøj