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Spain: Costa de Almería must decide whether to sue German health authorities

It has been almost two and a half years since the E.Coli crisis, which put Almeria in the spotlight of what would be the worst sanitary crisis in the history of the European Union.

Beyond the collective damage, estimated at 30 to 50 million Euro, according to those affected, such as growers, agricultural organisations and trading companies, there were firms which were directly accused, something which severely damaged their reputation in the international markets.

One of them was Hortofrutícola Costa de Almeria, whose president, Juan Enrique Vargas, stated that they still need to decide whether or not to sue the German authorities who pointed them as the ones responsible for the E.Coli spread, as the deadline to do so will be reached after three years.

"It was proven to be a false accusation, but we had no support from our institutions," affirms Vargas. In this sense, he admits the difficulties of suing a German Land (Hamburg, which was the one raising the accusation through its health senator, Cornelia Prüfer-Storck)," because of the high costs involved, "even if there is a great chance to win, because justice can be unpredictable."

Costa de Almeria decided to adopt a cautious strategy. It hired the services of a law firm in Germany and is waiting to see what happens with the company from Malaga that was also directly accused, Frunet Bío, which did in fact sue. "It is the exact same case, so it will help us see how to proceed," explains Juan Enrique Vargas.

According to Costa de Almeria, the accusations issued by German health authorities caused over two million Euro in losses, as a result of returns of fruits and vegetables that were already sold, the disposal of products, as well as the premature end of the campaign.

Source: Elalmeria

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