The state and a construction company must pay more than NOK 70 million in compensation and legal costs to the port of Båtsfjord after a dispute over damage to the quay in the fishing village.
According to a judgment from Indre Finnmark District Court, the defendants must take responsibility for the fact that dredging and blasting work led to landslides and extensive damage to the quay facility.
Båtsfjord municipality and the municipal port company originally demanded NOK 110 million in compensation for the work when the trial took place in Finnmark last autumn. According to the municipality, 500 meters of the quay facility in the municipal center was completely destroyed because the work took place too close to the quayside.
The verdict, which was handed down on Wednesday, states that the state at the Ministry of Transport and the construction company must pay close to 65 million in compensation. In addition, they have to pay NOK 5.25 million in legal costs.
Port manager Morten Albertsen in Båtsfjord is traveling, and has not been able to properly understand the verdict.
– We are pleased that we have won the case, but it is too early for me to say anything special more than that, before I have read the verdicts, he says.
– This is a sad case that we have tried to solve outside the court system, he adds.
The quay facility worth NOK 170 million was completely completed in 2019, through a joint venture between the Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Enova and Båtsfjord municipality.
Earlier this year, the municipality filed a lawsuit against the state and the contractor. Throughout the trial, the municipality’s lawyer Olav Johansen has stated that two quays of approx. 500 meters were totally destroyed due to mistakes made in blasting work and dredging too close to the quayside.
In the trial, the lawyers of the two defendant parties said that the municipality itself had to take responsibility for the way the dredging work took place, and that the work took place on their own initiative.
Håkon Christian Nyhus from the Government Attorney represented the state in the lawsuit. He has not responded to Aftenposten’s request for comment on the verdict. Nor does lawyer Marcus Christian Lindstrøm, who represented the contractor Per Aarsleff A / S.