Settlement between the City of Poznań and Wyborowa SA

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Settlement between the City of Poznań and Wyborowa SA

After a 10-year dispute, the City of Poznań has signed a settlement with Wyborowa SA under which the city has acquired the right of perpetual usufruct of real estate on Lake Malta for a negotiated price of PLN 38.5 million.

The case began with adoption of a new zoning plan in 2002. The plan designated the site where the Wyborowa distillery was located for sports and recreational use and required the site to be converted to that use within 15 years after the plan entered into force. In 2012 Wyborowa SA filed a claim for damages of PLN 98 million for the difference in value of the property under the previous and current zoning plans. From 2013 the company also closed the distillery, operated throughout almost the entire 20th century on the site. As alternative relief, a claim for the city to buy out the property was also asserted during the litigation.

The court of first instance denied the claim, holding that the claim was time-barred. That judgment was upheld by the court of appeal. Wyborowa SA then pursued a successful cassation appeal.

As a result of the cassation, the matter returned to the court of appeal, which ordered a new trial. The regional court again denied the claim, this time on the grounds that there was no material difference between the two zoning plans, as the prior plan also designated the site for sports and recreation.

That judgment was also challenged by Wyborowa SA, but the parties reached a settlement before the end of the appellate proceeding. Under the settlement, the City of Poznań bought the disputed property from Wyborowa SA for PLN 38.5 million and the company waived its claim for damages.

Wyborowa SA was represented from the beginning of the dispute by Prof. Marcin Lemkowski and Dr Maciej Kiełbowski.