The Supreme Court issued a judgment on February 7 2001 that clarifies which branch of the judiciary is competent to deal with a claim addressed against a company (which would point to the civil arm) and against a council (which would point to the branch entrusted with judicial review).
An individual filed a lawsuit before the civil branch of the judiciary against a company called Industrial Zarrazina, SA seeking damages as a result of nuisance caused in his property by water flowing from the company. He also filed a lawsuit against the council of the city of Gijón claiming damages as a result of the planning of the area and the inadequate construction of a road, which contributed to the water damage.
The judge of first instance dismissed the lawsuit against Industrial Zarrazina, SA but found Gijón council guilty, ordering it to pay damages. However, in appeal the court decided that not only should the claim against the company be dismissed, but also the claim filed against the council. The individual appealed against this judgment before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court stated that, according to the law, the only branch with the competence to decide a claim against a public corporation is the branch specializing in judicial reviews.
Therefore, regardless of the fact that the alleged damages were caused by the council acting as a public corporation, or as an ordinary company, the claim should have been filed before the judicial review branch.
As a consequence of this the appeal was dismissed.
For further information on this topic please contact Jorge Hernández or Jorge Capell by telephone (+34 9152 47100) or by fax (+34 9152 47153) or by e-mail ([email protected] or [email protected]).
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