TOTAL Ordered to Pay over US$10M Damages
Total-Liberia, one of the leading suppliers of petroleum products in Liberia, was last Friday found guilty by the Civil Law Court, at the Temple of Justice for damages as a result of breach of contract.
The court also ordred Total to pay US$10,475,626,60 as loan interest and other damages suffered by Princess Transport Incorporated.
There was an arrangement for the transport company to import 14 tanker trucks to be manufactured and designed according to the specification of Total-Liberia.
The company as a result secured a loan of US$3.75m from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) to import the trucks.
In addtion to his US$10,475,626,60 ruling, Judge Johannes Zlahn held Total liable to pay the cost of the procedings.
In his break-down of the US$10,475,626,60, Judge Zlahn said “US$5,650,858.60 represents loan and interest, US$165,233.60 also represents unjustifiable deductions for alleged shortages.”
He continued, “US$12,459.65 represents unwarranted two percent royalty deduction from plaintiff, Princess Transport Incoprorated; US$29,760 represents unwarranted deduction from the transport company.”
Judge Zlahn added, “US$45,900 represents debt not incurred by the plaintiff and US$65,516.51 represents illegal deduction from the plaintiff on account of defendant’s employees shortages.”
Out of the US$10,475,626,60, Judge Zlahn clarified that US$4,500,000 was for general damages against Total-Liberia.
The case began in 2012, when lawyers representing Princess Transport Incorporated (PTI), among other things, alleged that based on the request of Total-Liberia, PTI imported 14 tanker trucks.
Unfortunately, the transport company alleged that Total took more than four months to deploy the vehicles into its fleet after they arrived into the country, which cost PTI to lose substantial income.
Besides, the transport company contended that up to the present, the loan has accumulated interest in the amount of US$5,650,858.60 and out of the 14 trucks, Total deployed eight.
They said between 2011 and 2012, the defendant deducted and retained two percent on all income generated from their trucks, which totalled US$12,459.65.
PTI said Total deducted US$45,900 from its earnings on account of another company, Spirnner Corporation, inconsistent with the agreement.