Appeals court upholds earlier ruling, Grab to pay Vinasun damages

By Hai Duyen   March 11, 2020 | 01:15 pm GMT+7
Appeals court upholds earlier ruling, Grab to pay Vinasun damages
The logo of Grab on a helmet. Photo by Reuters/Edgar Su.

A HCMC Appeals Court has upheld an earlier ruling that ride-hailing firm Grab must pay taxi firm Vinasun VND4.8 billion ($207,000).

The court rejected the ride-hailing firm’s appeal that it had not committed any wrong against Vinasun and wanted the verdict squashed.

The HCMC Appeals Court ruled Tuesday said that Singapore-based Grab has operated as a transport company in Vietnam by deciding fares, managing vehicles and directly receiving money from customers.

Grab drivers have their income cut if passengers are not satisfied with their services, which means the drivers are under the company’s management, just like other transport companies, the court said.

However, as Grab is only registered as a technology company in Vietnam, it does not have to bear the same tax rate and pay drivers’ insurance and other fees as other taxi firms, which is not an equal situation, the court said.

Although the entrance of Grab into the market has benefited users, it was one of the main reasons that caused a decline in Vinasun’s revenue, and therefore the earlier ruling is upheld, it added.

Vinasun filed the suit against Grab at the HCMC People's Court in June 2017, accusing it of abusing the Ministry of Transport’s pilot scheme and committing violations which resulted in nearly VND42 billion ($1.8 million) of the VND76 billion ($3.27 million) in losses it had suffered in 2016 and the first half of 2017.

The court in December 2018 accepted parts of Vinasun's demands and ordered Grab to pay a compensation of VND4.8 billion ($207,000), which Grab appealed.

Grab wanted the Appeals Court to quash the verdict on the grounds that the HCMC People's Court had seriously violated procedures. The court had no jurisdiction to hear the case and handed down a verdict that exceeded the scope of the lawsuit and did not summon the witnesses it had sought, the company said.

The ride-hailing firm maintained it had not committed any wrong against Vinasun. It also said that Vinasun could not prove actual damage that it had suffered and/or the causal link between any of Grab’s alleged violations and Vinasun’s alleged damages.

The Court of Appeals rejected Grab’s contentions.

 
 
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