Maxima tragedy: court rules against tying properties to 142m claim

  • 2014-01-09
  • From wire reports, RIGA

Reviewing the 142 million euro lawsuit that has started over the Zolitude tragedy, Riga Regional Court has concluded that the movable and immovable property owned by Maxima Latvija, construction company Re&Re, company Tineo that is the owner of the collapsed building, and project developer Homburg Zolitude, cannot be attached to secure the claim.

According to the court's press secretary, Aigars Berzins, the court's decision may be appealed until Jan. 17.

Riga Regional Court decided on Jan. 6 to move ahead with the lawsuit filed for compensation from the builders and developers of the Zolitude Maxima XX supermarket, and the Riga City Council, in wake of the Nov. 21 roof collapse.

Attorney Aldis Gobzems informed LETA previously that the first suit filed was on behalf of three victims - demanding 71 million euros for one, 57 million euros for another and 14 million for the third person suing.

When a reporter pointed out that the police investigation in the tragedy still continues and the guilty have not been established, Gobzems explained that the criminal case would determine the responsibility of individual suspects, whereas his case dealt with "legal entities' responsibility."

"Current practice has shown that it is not us who have to prove that they have failed to do something - it is they who must prove that they have done everything correctly. Under Civil Law, the burden of proof in such cases is diametrically opposite. If a person is convicted in the criminal case, the respective legal entities will be able to take legal recourse action," explained the attorney.

"Any person has the right to fair compensation in a case such as the Zolitude tragedy, but what amount is fair?" Gobzems believes that annual profit is too minimal and therefore not a fair amount.

Fifty-four people, including three firefighters, died and scores were injured when the Maxima supermarket caved-in on Nov. 21.