One down, two to go, as Sonda wins first lawsuit against AFT

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chilean systems integrator Sonda won the first lawsuit of three that it has filed against AFT, the private financial operator of capital Santiago's mass transport system Transantiago, for 1.63bn pesos (US$2.98mn), local paper El Mercurio reported.

The case dates back to December 2008 when the Chilean government cashed a 1.63bn-peso guarantee provided by AFT, alleging that the company had caused failures in the Transantiago system and thereby broken the contract. AFT then withheld that amount from payments to Sonda on the basis that it was technology provided by the latter company which had failed.

Lawyer Enrique Barros, who led the investigation, found that the problems with the system were not caused by Sonda, and that the sum must be repaid in full by AFT.

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The second suit was filed for the return of 1bn pesos - another guarantee cashed by the government for the same reason. Lately Sonda filed its third suit, demanding 8.47bn pesos as compensation for stolen and damaged equipment located on Transantiago's buses, at bus terminals, and in payment zones.