ICE To Appeal Transfer Order
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Jan. 18, 2011 — El Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (“ICE”), the electric and telecommunications utility for Costa Rica announced today that the Honorable Pedro Echarte, Circuit Judge, in Miami, Florida, issued a ruling on a motion by Alcatel-Lucent, S.A., certain of its subsidiaries, and one of its former officers directing transfer of the case from Circuit Court in Miami to the courts of Costa Rica. The case seeks damages for Alcatel-Lucent’s admitted bribery of ICE personnel and Costa Rican governmental officials under Florida’s racketeering statutes and other Florida laws. Â ICE was disappointed with this ruling, and believes that Judge Echarte’s order is inconsistent with factual and legal principles that should apply to the matter. Â The company plans an appeal. Â
Judge Echarte’s order did not rule on the validity of any of the claims asserted by ICE, but merely indicated that the courts of Costa Rica might be a more convenient forum for adjudication of the case. Â While ICE is disappointed with Judge Echarte’s order, the order does provide certain benefits to ICE in the form of stipulations. Â These include stipulations that Alcatel-Lucent and its defendant subsidiaries consent to jurisdiction in Costa Rica and waive all statutes of limitations that might apply to the case. Â These stipulations would be a benefit if the case eventually would have to be tried in Costa Rica.
However, a successful appeal of Judge Echarte’s order will allow ICE to continue the matter in Miami, the location where Alcatel-Lucent and its subsidiaries, by their own admissions, managed and approved the illegal activities directed at Costa Rica and a number of other Latin American countries. Â ICE hopes to prevail in its appeal in order to preserve its claims and remedies and the procedural benefits of U.S. courts. Â ICE intends to pursue this matter and to hold Alcatel-Lucent and its subsidiaries and affiliates responsible for their admitted unlawful conduct. Â
For more information, please contact Burt Wiand at email@example.com or 813.347.5100.