Important Victory for the Criminal Law Team Representing the Largest Romanian Public Transport Company
The criminal law team of ZRVP obtained, on March 20, 2020, in the court of first instance, the acquittal of the largest public transport company from Romania, in a case file in connection to the committing of a crime of manslaughter and of a crime in the labor security and health area.
At the same time, the court rejected all the material and moral damages claimed by the civil parties, amounting to approximately EUR 500,000, it being obvious that a conviction solution would have significantly impaired the company’s activity.
In short, the accusation elements ascertained by the prosecutor in the indictment were related to the lack of an assessment of the risks to the workers’ health and security and the lack of any training of the employee in connection to the risk implied by the operation of the access doors at the place of business where this conducted his activity.
“In order to refute the accusation and to obtain the acquittal solution, the defense strategy had in view the supplementation of the evidence produced at the prosecution stage, oriented to support the arraignment of the legal person. As a matter of fact, in the ruling of this acquittal solution, besides the pleas of the ZRVP attorneys at law, the testimonies of the new proposed witnesses during the trial stage and the questions addressed by the attorneys at law at such hearings contributed decisively. For instance, the specifications offered by the employees of the Territorial Labor Inspectorate in front of the court of law confirmed that the legal person had implemented internal procedures and had provided periodical labor security and health training, and the equipment was in perfect operational condition, thus refuting the prosecutors’ accusations”, George Avram, Senior Associate of the criminal law team of ZRVP, stated.
“We noticed in the activity of the prosecution bodies the more and more frequent practice to entail the liability of legal persons both as a civilly liable party, and, by cumulation, the one of a defendant, for the obvious purpose of ensuring the recovery of the damage caused to the state budget or of the material/moral damages claimed by the civil parties”, Doru Cosmin Ursu, Managing Associate of the criminal law team of ZRVP, remarked.
This practice points out the importance of the instituting of the internal control and prevention mechanisms at the level of the legal persons and the more and more important role of the criminal law attorneys at law in the auditing and monitoring of the pro-active and reactive procedures, the criminal law attorneys’ at law contribution being essential in the establishing of the concrete steps to take further, as also Professor Valerian Cioclei, Partner of Counsel and one of the coordinators of ZRVP’s criminal law department, asserted, in an article recently published in which he analyzes the criminal liability of legal persons.
Last year, ZRVP attorneys at law were retained in over 150 criminal case files, handling including cross-border projects by cooperation with attorneys at law from foreign jurisdictions both in terms of extradition of Romanian citizens by the USA authorities, their trial and, afterwards, repatriation, and of cooperation with attorneys at law from Singapore and Israel in criminal case files investigating the laundering of tens of millions of Euros through firms with accounts opened with banks from Romania. Last year also, ZRVP attorneys at law managed to obtain material and moral damages of tens of millions of Euros for the 45 survivors and persons close to the victims from Colectiv, which were assisted pro bono by the law firm.