City officials and their legal team head to Santiago, Chile this week for the final hearings on the $22 million claim filed by a former tram project manager.
The government of former Cuenca mayor Marcelo Cabrero fired Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca Consortium, CCRC, a Spanish company, in January 2017 for project delays. CCRC challenged the termination, claiming that the city added additional work to the job that increased costs and required additional time to complete.
By contractual agreement, the two parties had agreed to settle disputes in Chile through arbitration with a panel of judges from Spain, France and Brazil.
The city has hired a team of attorneys from the Quito law firm of Andrade Veloz, according to municipal attorney Juan Pedro Peralta. “These lawyers have experience in resolving international disputes and we are confident of our ultimate success in the arbitration,” Peralta said.
Cabrera, as well as three former directors of the tram project will accompany the legal team to Santiago for the hearing, having been called as a witnesses.
Mayor Pedro Palacios said that although the termination of the CCRC contract does not involve his administration, he will be in Santiago to defend the city. “As I understand it, we are on firm legal ground in this case and I want to put the matter behind us as quickly as possible so we can make the tram operational.”
Following the firing of CCRC, the tram project was stalled for eight months before new project manager, ACTN, was contracted. ACTN finished the project on schedule last October.