Court: The Polish state does not have to pay lockdown compensation

Probably the first, although still not final, judgement was passed in a case in which the entrepreneur demanded compensation from the State Treasury for the lockdown introduced in the pandemic. The decision is favourable for the government, because the court dismissed the claim and indicated that the company did not prove the unlawfulness of the conduct of public authorities

The government began to introduce restrictions on doing business after the outbreak of the pandemic in March 2020. Later, restrictions were relaxed, but with successive waves of infections, they returned to a greater or lesser extent.

Although the government prepared anti-crisis shields from which money was paid to the aggrieved entrepreneurs, they did not cover their losses and not all of them found help. Therefore, just a few months after the outbreak of the pandemic, the first lawsuits against the State Treasury were announced .

It is difficult to estimate their scale, because they go to various public administration bodies. Most likely, however, the government was not flooded by a wave of compensation claims. The statistics of the General Prosecutor’s Office, which represents the State Treasury in such cases, show that the courts received a total of ten lawsuits for damages for a lockdown or declaration of the State Treasury’s liability for the introduced prohibitions and restrictions.

The first judgement in the case for damages has probably already been passed, although only in the first instance, so it is not yet final.

You are on the top for now

Business Insider Polska has managed to establish that the State Treasury – at least for the time being – is on the way not to pay compensation to the fitness industry company. The Prosecutor General’s Office confirms our information that the first case went as planned by the government, and the verdict dismissed the claim.

“It is a non-final judgement and the claimant from the fitness industry is entitled to appeal against it. The court, dismissing the claim, stated that in this case the plaintiff had not shown the unlawfulness of the conduct of public authorities”, -explains Bartosz Swatek, spokesman for the General Prosecutor’s Office.

-“In all cases, the General Prosecutor’s Office filed a motion to dismiss the claim. At the present stage of the proceedings, the Prosecutor’s Office cannot provide detailed information on these proceedings” – he adds,

The information provided by the press officer also shows that hearings have already taken place in several other cases.

The health ministry fought against lockdown compensation

The Ministry of Health sheds more light on the case being won in the first instance . It was the lawyers of this ministry who represented the State Treasury in this case, and just before the verdict, they were lawyers from the General Prosecutor’s Office.

“The District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście, I Civil Department, dismissed in its entirety the claim for payment against the State Treasury brought by Fit Factory sp. Z oo with its seat in Krakow” – informs Business Insider Polska, the MZ press office

We hear unofficially in government circles that this is not the end of this battle.

“We are expecting an appeal,” says a government person who knows the details of the case.

Two combat strategies

Two strategies can be seen among the legal representatives of entrepreneurs who will fight for compensation on their behalf. Some companies intend to sue the State Treasury immediately and demand a specific amount to be a calculation of losses or lost profits. The second strategy assumes that this group includes mainly class actions in order to go to court so that it recognizes the principle of the State Treasury’s liability for the introduced bans and restrictions. If the court decides legal issues, then each entrepreneur will be able to file an individual claim for payment, in which he will show the amount of his loss.

So far, the Prosecutor’s Office has received six lawsuits with compensation claims related to the so-called lockdown. These are lawsuits filed by entrepreneurs from the fitness industry (for the amount of approximately PLN 215000, PLN 100000, PLN 75000), the owner of a shopping mall (for the amount of PLN 458000), an entrepreneur in the restaurant industry (for the amount approx. PLN 223000) and an entrepreneur from the tourism industry (for the amount of approx. PLN 230000),  informs attorney Swatek.

“There were also four group suits from the tourism industry and the event industry. These are lawsuits for determination and there is no value of any compensation sought in them”, he adds.

Source: BusinessInsider


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