On 27 September 2021, the 1st Local Police Court of Copiapó found that a supermarket had violated Law no. 19,496 on the Protection of Consumer Rights for not indicating the price per unit for certain dairy products as well as for not having implemented adequate safety measures – i.e. setting a maximum capacity allowed in the premise – to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
By ordering the company to pay a fine, the judge accepted that the mitigating circumstance provided for in Article 24 of the Law – namely, that the subject has not been fined before for the same conduct and that the infringer has substantially collaborated with the National Consumer Service before or during the administrative sanctioning procedure – could be applied to the case at stake.
Against that decision, the National Consumer Service deduced an appeal, alleging that the Court did not weigh the facts with the gravity it deserves, at the moment in which it considered the aforementioned mitigating factors applicable.
By decision no. Rol 50-2021 of 18 August 2022, the Court of Appeals of Copiapó upheld the decision and confirmed, inter alia, that a failure by a business establishment to implement the adequate safety measure on its premises to prevent the spread of COVID-19 does pose a risk to consumers’ health, thus constituting a violation of the latter’s rights under Law no. 19,496.