Matra wins final appeal against city government

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 1

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said the Taipei City Government was still deciding what to do after the Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) to pay French firm Matra NT$1.6 billion (US$50 million) for construction delays on the MRT's Muzha Line.

The decision brings to an end a 12-year legal battle stemming from the troubled premier line of Taipei's MRT network.

"The Taiwan High Court ruled that the French Matra Group won the lawsuit. The Supreme Court upholds the ruling, and adds additional reasons why the Matra Group should win the case," Supreme Court president Wu Chi-bin (吳啟賓) said.

Matra won a tender to design and build the first segment of the elevated Mucha Line in 1988. However, in 1993, Matra said that, because of infrastructural delays, the company was unable to start construction. Matra therefore demanded that DORTS pay it NT$2 billion for losses incurred.

DORTS refused to pay the money, and in the same year Matra filed a lawsuit, this time demanding NT$1.25 billion.

The Supreme Court in 2000 ruled that DORTS should pay Matra NT$1.1 billion. But DORTS appealed the verdict, arguing that the time allowed to appeal the case had expired.

Yesterday, the court disagreed.