Kayat Trading Ltd v. Genzyme Corporation: 7.6 Millions to be Paid as Damages

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On the 05/03/2014 , the District Court of Nicosia, issued a judgment ending the prolonged hearing of the civil dispute between Genzyme Corporation, a world-renowned pharmaceutical company set in Massachusetts, and Kayat Trading Ltd, a Cypriot International Trading Company,  awarding damages approximately of the amount of $ 7,600,000 , including interest , plus legal expenses, in favor of Kayat.

The Former President of the District Court of Nicosia, Mr. A. Liatsos, adopting the submissions of the representatives of Kayat, concluded that Genzyme Corporation violated substantive clauses of the distribution agreement signed between the parties, regarding the distribution of the widely circulated medicine melatonin known as “Melapure”, to Ukraine, Russia and other countries of the Former Soviet Union.

The proceedings were prolonged mainly due to the complexity, the extremely difficult legal issues, the extensive evidence given by the witnesses, most of which were from the Former Soviet Union and USA . The court issued a judgment by applying Massachusetts law which was the applicable law of the case. Jerry Cohen, a reputable attorney of Massachusetts, for the plaintiffs, and for the defendants, Allan Van Gestel, a former Judge of the Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court, came and testified before the court, as expert witnesses of foreign law. 

Mr. Yiannos Georgiades, the representative of Kayat, during the proceedings, cross examined extensively for 3 days, the former Judge Allan Van Gestel.

The Court accepted Mr Georgiades’ arguments and rejected the defenses provided by the other side, ruling, inter alia, that the agreement between the parties was not a sale of goods agreement but a distribution agreement, that Kayat never consented to the sale of Melapure business to another company and that they never waived their legal rights.

The Court also, by adopting the final submissions of Mr. Yiannos Georgiades , decided, that the delivered goods were defective and did not correspond with the registered sample upon which the marketing licenses were granted and that there was a substantial delay in the execution of orders.

The breach of contract by Genzyme caused large economic losses to Kayat. The sum of $7,600,000 is one of the largest amounts awarded as damages by a court in Cyprus.

 Mr Georgiades said that he is satisfied with the outcome but he is examining with his clients the possibility to appeal the decision only for the purpose of increasing the amount.

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