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The company initially claimed 794,888.12 euros for the economic imbalance, but the court sets the compensation at 77,628.61 euros

The TSJ agrees with the City Council and reduces the amount to compensate the ORA company for the effects of the pandemic

26 March 2024
El TSJ da la razón al Ayuntamiento y rebaja la cantidad a compensar a la empresa de la ORA por los efectos de la pandemia

Benidorm will approve in plenary session a budget modification to allocate such an amount and avoid possible late payment interest in the event of an appeal by the concessionaire to the Supreme Court.

The Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community (TSJCV) has ruled in favour of Benidorm City Council. The compensation that must be paid to the ORA concessionaire company is much lower than the company's initial claims. Thus, such compensation has been set at 77,628.61 euros, instead of the 794,888.12 euros.

The Court in its ruling 188/2024 of March 13, has partially upheld the appeal presented by Benidorm City Council and has substantially reduced the amount with which the ORA concessionaire company will be compensated for the effects of the pandemic.

Given the ruling, the City Council will present to the plenary session tomorrow a proposal from the mayor to approve a budget modification worth 77,628.81 euros charged to the Contingency Fund to allocate said amount and reduce possible interest to the maximum. of delay that the plaintiff is likely to claim later.

The UTE concessionaire of the regulated parking service claimed 794,888.12 euros from the City Council as a consequence of the economic imbalance caused by the effects of the pandemic and was protected by Royal Decree 8/2020 on extraordinary urgent measures to address the economic and social impact of the Covid-19.

A claim that was partially addressed by the Administrative Litigation Court number 1 of Alicante, which initially condemned the City Council to pay the ORA company 459,198.48 euros plus the corresponding legal interest as an economic rebalancing of the contract for the period between March 14, 2020, and May 9, 2021.

In that case, the court reduced the compensation requested by the company by taking into account the savings obtained by the company for concepts such as personnel expenses, office closure or lower fuel consumption.
The City Council, however, appealed to the TSJ, which has now partially upheld such appeal. The court understands that the contract “was not suspended nor did its execution become impossible, but rather it was executed with less intensity.” In addition, it points out “an error in the assessment of the evidence” by the administrative litigation department for not considering the reports of six municipal technicians who quantified the savings of the concessionaire UTE at 711,470 euros.

Thus, the ruling specifies that "there is no doubt that a part of the contract could not be put into practice during the first months of restriction limits, but this was not the case throughout the claimed period." The mayor has specified that "the ruling indicates the time that should be claimed by the UTE is between March 14 and June 21."

After notification of the ruling, a period of 30 days is opened for the parties to appeal to the Supreme Court. The City Council will not do so because "the ruling is favourable to municipal interests given that the amount to be paid is significantly lower than that initially claimed by the plaintiff,” said Toni Pérez.