Spain, Lugo Administrative Court (No. 1), 11 February 2022, Judgement 24/2022
Deciding body (English)
Deciding body (Original)
Type of body
Type of Court (material scope)
Type of jurisdiction
Type of Court (territorial scope)
- People with disabilities
- People with chronic diseases
Outcome of the decision
Link to the full text of the decision
A private company awarded a public contract to perform home help services challenged the refusal of the municipality to award damages due to its interruption of service caused by Covid-19. The Lugo Administrative Court No. 1 considered that the company could not execute the contract. Thus, the contract should have been suspended and the Administration should award damages.
Facts of the case
In January 2019, the municipality of A Pastoriza (Galicia, Spain) awarded a public contract for home help services to a private company. In March 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the latter applied a declaration of absolute impossibility to execute the contract and, thus, for the corresponding compensation provided by law. The municipality, however, rejected the application by failing to reply. The company then challenged the negative decision before the Lugo Administrative Court, seeking compensation for damages.
Type of measure challenged
Measures, actions, remedies claimed
Individual / collective enforcement
Nature of the parties
Type of procedure
Reasoning of the deciding body
The Court began by explaining that Art. 34.1 of decree-law 8/2020 provides for the partial or total suspension of public contracts when execution becomes impossible due to Covid-19 or to measures adopted by the State, regional, or local Governments to deal with the pandemic. On March 16, 2020, the home help service provided by the claimant was suspended for more than 85% of clients, which meant that the company could only provide services to 13 out of 97 total users. Since most of the clients were deregistered, the activity of the company was de facto partially suspended by the Administration. Therefore, the Court determined that the basic premise of decree-law 8/2020 did exist in this case: the impossibility of partially executing the public contract which led to its suspension. This being the case, the private company had, according to the norm, the right to be awarded damages for the period of the suspension. The amount totaled up to 21,156.96€ which were the salaries paid by the company to its employees from March to May 2020, according to an expert economist report. Since the Administration did not question this data, the Court upheld the claim.
Conclusions of the deciding body
The Court determined that the public contract was partially suspended since the contracted service could not be provided to more than 85% of clients. As a consequence, the home help company had the right to have its contract partially suspended and thus compensation.