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Lawyers’ mafias bilk builders out of hundreds of millions yearly

Santo Domingo.- As many as 80% of the country’s construction companies face lawsuits each year by a mafia of lawyers who use fake workers to extort benefits in the courts, construction sector representatives affirmed Thursday.

Dominican Housing Builders and Developers Association (Acoprovi) president Hector Breton and Dominican Construction Chamber (Cadocon) president Cristian Ciccone said the mafia of lawyers is to blame hundreds of millions in losses in the industry because, as “many have even had to close temporarily because of the economic burden of such lawsuits.”

Quoted by, the business leaders referred to a complaint by Elvis Duran, attorney for a realtor, that an organization run by a Haitian citizen conspires with lawyers to recruit workers and file workplace lawsuits.

“That’s not new, and we have denounced such mafias, with clearly identified law firms and the authorities know who they are,” Breton said, noting that if there were Haitians, they’d surely be linked to Dominican lawyers.

He said many construction companies face as many as three lawsuits a year, and almost always from workers who haven’t even been at a construction site.  “There are also times when the same person files two lawsuits, even with the same workhours in two companies.”

“A company can face two to three lawsuits each year, and each one costs between 100,000 and 150,000 pesos, just to defend themselves, but if the court rules against them it’s 500,000 or 600,000 (pesos). Imagine if you have a small business, it cannot withstand it,” Breton said, adding that the mafias result from the Labor Code’s weaknesses, which he warns shows the need to amend it.

Source: DT

Feb 13, 2016

Category: DR News |

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Last updated October 22, 2016 at 2:00 PM
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