The plaintiff initiated the lawsuit of "Claiming compensation for damage outside the contract" is Vietnam Sun Corporation (Vinasun). The defendant is GrabTaxi Co., Ltd. (Grab).
According to Vinasun's allegations, Grab took advantage of the Ministry of Transportation's Decision 24 to commit illegal acts, damaging the business of this company. Grab responded Vinasun could not prove the allegations and claimed that it only provided the software for the transport businesses by the law.
In light of the heated debate surrounding the lawsuit, TheLEADER had a talk with Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc, Chairman of BASICO Lawfirm Member Council.
From a legal point of view, how do you perceive Vinasun and Grab's arguments in the lawsuit?
Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc: I think Grab's arguments are reasonable. Despite being the plaintiff, Vinasun is clearly in a weak position in this case.
Vinasun alleged that Grab disturbed the taxi market, leaving about 8,000 redundant employees and hundreds of vacant vehicles.
The report on “Damages to Vinasun from the Promotion of Uber Vietnam and GrabTaxi" by the NBQ Advertising – Market Research Co., Ltd. claimed that GrabTaxi had caused damages worth nearly VND40 billion (about US$1.8 million) for Vinasun from January 2016 to June 2017.
Even more so, Vinasun asked Grab to compensate the money in a single payment.
I think that all the evidence is of no legal basis. Vinasun could not prove that the damages were to be blamed on Grab. Meanwhile, customers have the right to choose the service.
On the other hand, talking about taxi-hailing applications, not only Uber and Grab, even traditional taxi businesses now have this technology, including Vinasun.
According to him, can Vinasun win the case?
Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc: With the vague and weak evidence, the probability to win the case and claim the compensation of nearly US$1.8 million from Grab of Vinasun is low.
In which circumstances can Vinasun sue Grab?
Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc: Vinasun can only sue Grab when it can show concrete evidence that Grab has directly influenced Vinasun's reputation, assets, and income.
In this case, Grab could even countersue Vinasun because Vinasun has committed unfair competition such as the slogans protesting technology taxi.
Does it mean that Grab is not wrong?
Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc: Not really. Grab did have some faults as Vinasun pointed out, for example, doing promotion longer than permitted and violating the competition law. However, it is just a personal offence.
With this violation, Vinasun can only denounce the action to the authority, but cannot file a lawsuit against a specific company.
Recently, another traditional taxi business, Mai Linh Group Joint Stock Company, has “requested for help" from the Ministry of Finance and Vietnam Social Insurance to put off paying the insurance debt due to economic difficulties of the company. What do you think?
Lawyer Truong Thanh Duc: Under the Law on Social Insurance and guiding documents, there has not been any regulations on charge-off, debt rescheduling or not charging interests for late payment of social insurance and health insurance due to difficulties of enterprises.
However, as this company is facing enormous financial challenges, I think that relevant ministries and agencies should consider this request as its bankruptcy would lead to numerous consequences for social security and labourers.
Thank you very much!