Austrian Supreme Court Ruling: 26.08.2020 9 ObA 136/19v | ZFZ Postcard Cases

The Austrian Limited Liability Company Act provides that managing directors are liable to the company for losses caused in breach of their duty of care.

The statute of limitation for the companies’ damages claims is five years (cf para 25 (6) GmbHG).

In a recent case, the managing director’s employment contract provided for a four months forfeiture period. As the company filed a claim for damages against the managing director, he objected with reference to the agreed clause.

However, according to the Austrian Supreme Court, the managing director’s statutory five years liability period is mandatory and cannot be shortened by contract in advance. A shortening of the statutory liability period in advance would lead to a undesired reduction of the creditors’ liability fund.

The full decision can be found here (in German).