Simpson Bay, St. Maarten: In a judgment of 30 July 2018, the Sint Maarten Court of First Instance ordered NAGICO to pay to Princess Juliana Airport (PJIA) an advance of USD 33,2 million. This amount is in addition to an advance of USD 25 million that was already paid by NAGICO.
In its judgment, the Court considered that, although the dispute between PJIA and NAGICO is complicated both legally and technically, PJIA has a pressing interest in obtaining an advance on the insurance payments that it is entitled to, so that it can continue the restoration of the airport. In addition to the advance of USD 33,2 million, NAGICO was ordered to pay PJIA an amount of ANG 20,000 in legal costs.
“We are very satisfied with the Court’s judgment”, Mr. Ravi Daryanani, Acting CEO and Michel Hyman, COO of PJIA stated. “Not only has the Court awarded a significant advance on the total damages suffered by PJIA, but as a result of these proceedings NAGICO was forced to finally review PJIA’s insurance claim, which it has consistently refused to do until legal proceedings were started”.
PJIA’s attorneys, Eric de Vries and Michiel van den Brink of HBN Law, explained that the Court’s judgment is a preliminary decision: “Summary proceedings like these are intended to provide interim relief on short notice. Given that nature, Courts must be cautious with awarding monetary claims. Typically, a monetary claim is only allowed if there is no reasonable doubt that the claim would also be awarded in ordinary proceedings on the merits”. De Vries and Van den Brink pointed out that, although a considerable amount has been awarded, this only represents part of the amount that PJIA is entitled to: “In view of the nature of the proceedings against NAGICO, the Court has awarded only part of the amount that it expects NAGICO to be liable for”.
The Managing Board of the Princess Juliana International Airport- SXM stated that they expect that the settlement of PJIA’s insurance claim will from now on be handled more expeditiously by NAGICO. They also expressed their expectation that the further settlement of the claim can be carried out in a more amicable atmosphere: “Our loss experts and NAGICO’s loss adjuster have continued discussions on the settlement of PJIA’s insurance claim during the proceedings. We expect that PJIA’s claim will be settled amicably and hope that no further legal actions will be necessary. That would not only be in PJIA’s interest, but also that of Sint Maarten.”
Lastly, the Managing Board would like to take the opportunity to thank the entire staff of the Princess Juliana International Airport- SXM, for their work ethic and for standing by management during this time, as we return to be the regional leaders in the airport industry.