Polish Supreme Court order
dated 5 February 2009
Case No. I CSK 311/08
Summary by arbitraz.laszczuk.pl:
The plaintiff sued the defendant for return of undue fees charged to admit plaintiff’s goods to defendant’s stores. The defendant moved to dismiss the claim based on an arbitration clause in the cooperation agreement between the parties. The plaintiff argued that the arbitration clause was ineffective because the agreement was signed by attorneys-in-fact who held only a general power of attorney, not the required special power of attorney authorizing them to enter into an arbitration clause. The plaintiff also argued that the dispute was not arbitrable because it involved a tortious act of unfair competition, not contract performance. The regional court held that the plaintiff failed to prove that the powers of attorney were inadequate, and held that the dispute was related to the cooperation agreement and general terms and conditions, and was therefore arbitrable. The appellate court affirmed. The Polish Supreme Court denied the cassation appeal. The court ignored the allegations concerning the nature of the powers of attorney because they were moot in light of the factual findings by the lower court. The court further held that the allegedly undue fees, invoiced as “marketing” and “advertising” fees, were clearly related to the parties’ contract, even if they could also constitute a tortious act of unfair competition.
Excerpt from the text of the court’s ruling:
Submission to an arbitration court of disputes under a contractual relationship means that the jurisdiction of the arbitration court extends to any and all claims for performance of the contract, claims arising in the event of non-performance or improper performance of the contract, claims to restore undue consideration arising in the event of invalidity of the contract or rescission of the contract, as well as tort claims if they arise out of an event that also constitutes non-performance or improper performance of the contract.