Commercial Court dismisses Alcon case against the Fund
The Commercial Court of Uganda on 23rd May 2019 dismissed, with costs, the case filed by Alcon Uganda against the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) by which Alcon sought compensation for alleged breach and termination of the construction contract for Workers House.
This brings to an end the protracted litigation between the Fund and Alcon that has been in the court system for the last 20 years.
In his Ruling, Justice David Wangututsi, said that Alcon Uganda could not be entitled to any remedies under the construction contract with NSSF , after the Supreme Court Court found that they were not privy to the Contract and that there alleged involvement in the construction of Workers House was based on fraud.
The case against the Fund was filed by Alcon in 1998 after the Fund terminated the construction contract for incompetence of the contractor. Alcon’s claim in Court was for breach and termination of Contract. The High Court then referred the matter to arbitration that resulted into an adverse award of USD 23 million against the Fund for alleged breach of contract.
Dissatisfied with the decision, the Fund appealed the award all the way to the Supreme Court, and in 2013, the Supreme Court overturned the arbitration award as it was obtained fraudulently. The Supreme Court then ordered that the case filed by Alcon be returned to the High Court for trial, which has now dismissed the case.
This ruling signifies an end to this protracted litigation and justifies the Fund’s decision to challenge the adverse arbitration award.
This ruling finally resolves any questionssurrounding the claim by Alcon and guarantees the safety and ownership of the workers of Uganda’s prime asset, Workers House. Finally, the ruling vindicates the position we took in 2011 to exhaust all legal avenues to resolve the case rather than settle the matter out of court or through arbitration.