JOINT & SEVERAL LIABILITY OF SUCH NAUGHTY EMPLOYEES

It has been reported in MALTATODAY (27.05.2013) that Gozo Channel has been advised by its lawyer against seeking the full reimbursement of money stolen by employees working in the company’s ferry cafeterias. The pilferage dates back to 2007, and it is estimated that 10 Gozitan employees, some of whom have been employed with the company for seven years, stole approximately €500,000 over six years.

The case surfaced in court last Wednesday, when nine of the workers pleaded guilty to theft charges. A tenth pleaded not guilty.

MaltaToday is informed that the inquiry is ongoing.

When contacted by this newspaper, Gozo Channel Chairman Joe Cordina confirmed that the company’s lawyer, …………… has advised the company against seeking a full reimbursement from the the workers “as it would be difficult to prove the stolen amount in court.”

When asked directly whether Gozo Channel would waive the stolen amount and not seek reimbursement from the employees, Cordina was non-committal.

“Our legal advisor has suggested it would be better to reach an agreement with them… the amount stolen is unknown and the lawyers are still seeing what best course of action to take,” he said.

According to the legal advice given to Gozo Channel, it would be cumbersome to open a civil case against each worker, as it would entail proving in court how much the workers stole individually. The police investigation, Cordina said, has not established the amount stolen.

The chairman also confirmed that the workers’ employment has been terminated. They have been replaced by workers from other sections of Gozo Channel.

ALLOW ME TO REFER ONE AND ALL TO SECTION 1049 OF OUR CIVIL CODE WHICH STATES THAT – WHERE TWO OR MORE PERSONS HAVE MALICIOUSLY CAUSED ANY DAMAGE, THEIR LIABILITY TO MAKE GOOD THE DAMAGE SHALL BE JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY. (comment and observation by Ian Spiteri Bailey)

If these employees, through their actions, have caused malicious damage to the company, the there is no need for numerous civil cases. One will suffice against all together, and they will answer to such civil suit collectively, jointly and severally.

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