Court freezes assets of two companies over Maxima store collapse

Riga Regional Court on Monday ruled to partially grant lawyer Aldis Gobzems' request to freeze movable property of Homburg Zolitude and Tineo in a civil action related to the deadly collapse of a Maxima supermarket in Riga in November 2013, reported BNS newswire Monday.

Gobzems had asked the court to freeze the two companies' assets at the previous court hearing. LETA reported that the asset freeze extends to €85,372 and is effective immediately and cannot be overruled. 

Justice Ilze Osina is hearing the lawsuit filed by three plaintiffs: Edgars Cernenoks, Valerija Valentina Mizula and Oksana Vilsone.

The plaintiffs are seeking €142.3m in damages from Maxima Latvija retailer, Re&Re builder, Tineo land owner, Homburg Zolitude developer and CMConsulting, as well as the Riga City Council in connection with the Maxima store collapse disaster.

The plaintiffs claim that the above companies are responsible for the tragedy.

Homburg Zolitude used to own the upper part of the collapsed supermarket's roof, an underground parking facility and an adjacent apartment building. Tineo, which was the owner of the building's commercial space, had leased it to Maxima Latvija retail company.

As reported, 54 people died and several dozens were injured as a "Maxima" supermarket in Riga's Zolitude neighborhood collapsed on November 21, 2013. The Riga supermarket tragedy has become the largest loss of life since the restoration of independence in 1991.

The catastrophe made waves in the society as it was caused by violations of building law. According to data obtained by Latvian Television, the roof of the supermarket caved in as weak materials were used. Furthermore, the management of the store ignored the alarm that sounded well before the collapse.

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