Court dismisses noise pollution claim
Excess noise pollution by countless vehicles twenty-four hours a day: that is what thousands of Prague residents in apartment buildings along Prague's "magistrala" highway have been putting up with for years. In an unprecedented case 3,000 local residents filed a joint lawsuit against city hall for failing to deal with the problem. But a Prague court has now dismissed the claim.
But that's not how things have turned out. Judge Libuse Fritzova, while acknowledging that the plaintiffs' rights were being breached, noted that there was little city hall could do in the short-term and ultimately dismissed the suit. A little earlier I spoke to the plaintiffs' lawyer Alena Banyaiova and asked her how she saw Tuesday's decision.
"It's a little difficult to describe the reasoning but the judge stated that the plaintiffs' rights were violated because the noise levels which are permitted by special regulations were exceeded, but dismissed the claim on the grounds that it would be difficult to enforce the decision in a reasonable time. That the city can not effectively remedy the situation immediately and that the penalties which the court might have imposed to force the city to remedy the situation would not 'help'. The claim was 'justified' but the defendant can do nothing about, therefore the action should be dismissed. The clients have already authorised me to appeal."