Appeals court turns down builders' €12m National Library claim

The Rīga District Court has turned around an earlier verdict that the state has to pay millions in compensation to the builders of the National Library of Latvia. 

In particular, the €12 million claim by the general partnership Nacionalo Buvkompaniju Apvieniba (Association of the National Construction Companies) was turned down. The union of companies insisted that the amount comprised construction fees still due to it, plus the applicable penalties and interest.

But the court said that it was the companies' own fault for signing the contract and that the companies are very experienced in the construction sector and therefore should have foreseen risks related to inflation, deflation and changes in construction costs, upon which the claim was based.

"If the general partnership Nacionalo Buvkompaniju Apvieniba has not sufficiently reviewed risks, the Latvian state as represented by the Ministry of Culture cannot be held responsible," said Judge Valdis Vazdiķis.

The verdict can still be appealed at the Supreme Court's civil case department. 

The construction of the National Library of Latvia started in 2008 and ended in 2014. The Latvian state paid altogether €195,565,638 in construction costs. 

But the builders claim the ministry owes them €12 million as construction costs grew during the time, with the sum also including late fees and a contractual penalty.

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