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dass erst einen dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat

English translation: corrected / modified sentence (mainly "einer" instead of "einen")

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10:28 Jun 23, 2004
German to English translations [PRO]
Law/Patents - Law: Contract(s) / AGBs: grammatically mangled clause.
German term or phrase: dass erst einen dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat
"Werden Gebrauchs- oder Verwendungsanweisungen der Verkäuferin auch, soweit sie auf der Verpackung angebracht sind, nicht befolgt, so entfällt die Mängelhaftung, wenn der Käufer eine entsprechende substanziierte Behauptung, ***dass erst einen dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat***, nicht widerlegt."

The clause defies grammatical analysis. It appears to have no subject and two objects, neither of which is actually impossible in German, but not in this context.

As these contracts are typically rather formulaic, I am hoping there is someone out there with legal experience who recognizes what the original clause was meant to be.

My "client" is actually a colleague, and I have asked her to refer this sentence to the original client, but she says she doesn't see the problem....
Richard Benham
France
Local time: 20:55
English translation:corrected / modified sentence (mainly "einer" instead of "einen")
Explanation:
Wenn Gebrauchs- oder Verwendungsanweisungen der Verkäuferin - soweit sie auf der Verpackung angebracht sind - auch nicht befolgt werden, dann entfällt die Mängelhaftung - es sei denn, der Käufer widerlegt eine entsprechende substanziierte Behauptung, ***dass erst eine*r* dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat***.

The asterisked phrase thus appears to be equivalent to "that the defect/deficiency/failure was only caused/brought about by one of these [the above-mentioned] circumstances [conditions/cases/instances]". "einer dieser Umstände" probably refers to a case of non-adherence to the instructions for use as provided by the seller.

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Note added at 12 mins (2004-06-23 10:41:19 GMT)
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... which would mean that no seller liability exists if the buyer is unable to counter the seller\'s substantiated claim that only such a case (of non-adherence to the instructions for use) led to the defect.
Selected response from:

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 20:55
Grading comment
The other two answers were essentially the same, and the answer proposed was the one I was inclined towards anyway. But Steffen got in first, and I sent the completed translation off to the client as soon as I got his answer, in view of time constraints; So he gets the points.

Thanks to the other answerers too!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4corrected / modified sentence (mainly "einer" instead of "einen")
Steffen Walter
4einen is wrongAnne Gillard-Groddeck
3that the non-compliance with the sellers' instructions has caused the defect
SueEllen


  

Answers


10 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
dass erst einen dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat
corrected / modified sentence (mainly "einer" instead of "einen")


Explanation:
Wenn Gebrauchs- oder Verwendungsanweisungen der Verkäuferin - soweit sie auf der Verpackung angebracht sind - auch nicht befolgt werden, dann entfällt die Mängelhaftung - es sei denn, der Käufer widerlegt eine entsprechende substanziierte Behauptung, ***dass erst eine*r* dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat***.

The asterisked phrase thus appears to be equivalent to "that the defect/deficiency/failure was only caused/brought about by one of these [the above-mentioned] circumstances [conditions/cases/instances]". "einer dieser Umstände" probably refers to a case of non-adherence to the instructions for use as provided by the seller.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 12 mins (2004-06-23 10:41:19 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

... which would mean that no seller liability exists if the buyer is unable to counter the seller\'s substantiated claim that only such a case (of non-adherence to the instructions for use) led to the defect.

Steffen Walter
Germany
Local time: 20:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 625
Grading comment
The other two answers were essentially the same, and the answer proposed was the one I was inclined towards anyway. But Steffen got in first, and I sent the completed translation off to the client as soon as I got his answer, in view of time constraints; So he gets the points.

Thanks to the other answerers too!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
dass erst einen dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat
that the non-compliance with the sellers' instructions has caused the defect


Explanation:
To be grammatically correct, the sentence should read "...dass erst einer dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat...", but this does not help much with a view to understanding...
What the sentence could mean in my opinion is:
"If the buyer fails to comply with the seller's instructions, including those shown outside on the packaging, the seller does not assume any liability for defects, unless the buyer refutes an assertion to the effect that it was exactly one of these circumstances??? that caused the defect."
Bit "one of these circumstances" is unclear; could probably refer to the "circumstances of non-compliance with the sellers' instructions"...
Hope that helps a bit...

SueEllen
Local time: 20:55
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
PRO pts in category: 8
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
einen is wrong


Explanation:
1) First of all the seller is trying to disclaim liability as follows:

If the seller's instructions for use are not followed
(Werden Gebrauchsanweisungen (der Verkäuferin) nicht befolgt)

the seller will not be liable for defects
(so entfällt die Mangelhaftung).

This is the core statement, but the German sentence has packed lots of pieces of extra information into this so as to render it difficult to understand.

2) The core statement is followed by an unless

unless the buyer is unable to rebut a well founded argument

(wenn der Käufer eine entsprechend substantiierte Behauptung nicht widerlegt)

and now we come to the problem part: the content of the seller's argument or statement

dass einen dieser Umstände den Mangel herbeigeführt hat

(that it was one of these circumstances that caused the defect)

This is the content of the seller's argument - the defect arose after sale, presumably because the buyer is supposed to have misused the product etc. etc.

So einen dieser Umstände is incorrect.

It should be einer dieser Umstände (whatever they are)!

Kopf hoch!


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Note added at 2004-06-23 10:57:03 (GMT)
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Sorry unless should be \"if\"

if the buyer is unable to rebut

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Note added at 2004-06-23 11:02:57 (GMT) Post-grading
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or unless the buyer is able to rebut

Anne Gillard-Groddeck
Local time: 20:55
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 39
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