Important resolution of the Supreme Court.

On 27th of October 2021 in the case ref. no. III CZP 109/20 the Supreme Court in the Civil Chamber adopted a resolution, which is extremely important for the practice of litigation, according to which “The interpretation of law underlying a decision in a validly ended case, in which the plaintiff claimed a part of the benefit, is not covered by the binding force of a judgment in another case for a further part of that benefit, between the same parties, in the same factual and legal situation, if it is grossly contrary to the law.” The resolution followed an inquiry to the Supreme Court by one of the district courts, which was hearing an appeal in a case against an insurer for payment of damages under a businessman’s liability insurance. The plaintiff relied on an earlier final judgment awarding part of the benefit for the same event. The Supreme Court held, however, that in a case between the same parties for a further part of the same claim the court may issue a completely different ruling if the previous ruling violates the law. This position of the Supreme Court undermines the legitimacy of bringing partial actions “on trial” in order to obtain, at a lower cost, an adjudication on the merits of the claims, which is often used in practice.