The European Union has filed a new lawsuit against AstraZeneca that could lead to financial sanctions against a company that the EU claims had violated a contract to supply COVID-19 vaccines, Reuters reported.
This is the second EU lawsuit against AstraZeneca after it took action in late April over delays in vaccine supplies.
AstraZeneca said the first EU lawsuit is unfounded, saying it has complied with the terms of the contract.
The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker initially pledged to deliver 300 million doses of the vaccine from December to the end of June, but delayed shipments, delivering only 50 million, which were contracted to be delivered in January.
As partial and immediate compensation for delays, the company is expected to deliver 120 million doses by the end of June – 90 million in the second quarter, in addition to the 30 million doses shipped by the end of March, an EU lawyer told the court.
Officials familiar with the case said the second trial is mostly procedural and substantive, but also allows for financial penalties to be imposed on the company.
The EU has put forward a request for preliminary compensation of € 1 while the damage assessment is being carried out. AstraZeneca’s decision to claim effective compensation for breach of contract will be considered at a later stage.
The official said the fine could be significant, but he declined to quantify the financial claim that could be approved by a judge.