After hearing a case concerning the procurement of Covid-19 rapid tests, the Vilnius Regional Court has dismissed a EUR 4 million lawsuit against the companies that sold the tests, namely Profarma, Bona Diagnosis and Rouen Grains LV. In this case, we represented Profarma, a biopharmaceutical company that had been awarded a public contract for the procurement of more than 510,000 rapid tests.
Although our client was required to return the money paid for the tests, the court ruled in favour of the company. The court found that the contracting authority – in this case, the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL) – had accepted the price offered by Profarma, so there was no reason to hold the for-profit companies liable. In addition, the court found that the price offered by Profarma did not exceed the market price of similar goods.
“We welcome the court’s decision and believe it is essentially correct. The contract is valid and has been properly performed. The business entities met the needs of the state. The state purchased the necessary goods at a reasonable price in an emergency situation. The decision to impose a fine on the contracting authority, the laboratory, for possible violations is correct. Business entities are not responsible for public procurement procedures. We absolutely agree and approve of this. We do not agree with the reasons for part of the court’s judgement or the assessment of certain facts, and will take a decision on appealing part of the court’s judgement within the statutory time limit,” – says Laurynas Lukošiūnas, the Sorainen partner who represented Profarma.
The court imposed a fine of EUR 20,000 on the National Public Health Laboratory. The court also ordered the Prosecutor General’s Office to pay our client Profarma and another company, Bona Diagnosis, the costs of the proceedings: EUR 5,000 each.