State-owned companies, municipalities and public corporations – are they really obliged to claim damages from truck manufacturers?


The question is often asked: are state-owned companies, municipalities and their municipal enterprises as well as joint-stock companies, in contrast to private companies, legally obliged to initiate compensation proceedings against cartel truck manufacturers before the end of 2022, as the owners expect?

Dr. Werner A. Meier, an expert at the law firm Marzillier, Dr Meier & Dr Guntner, helped us understand the issue:

“First of all, it should be noted that these legal entities are indeed obliged by the municipal regulations to examine whether measures should be taken in order to preserve assets in accordance with the principles of fiscal management. Thus, they are not allowed to forego available additional revenues, whether due to lack of information or other administrative obstacles.

Since 2018, the situation has been greatly simplified, as litigation financing companies operating on the market now exempt the clients from 100% of both the upfront costs and any adverse costs in the event of an unsuccessful procedure.

The only thing you need to be aware of is that due to the statute of limitations, claims can only be made for new truck purchases between 2007 and 2016 (medium and heavy trucks from DAF, Iveco, MAN, Mercedes, Renault, Scania and Volvo) and that this option is only available until the end of 2022, when most claims will be time-barred.

If their regulations oblige them to do so, they have to choose the partner they hire to do the job in an open tendering process.” 

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