THERE could be lawsuits worth millions of euros flying around Barcelona following the very late cancellation of one of the world’s largest mobile phone exhibitions apparently due to the Coronavirus.
Two weeks ago it was reported that one of the largest stand holders at the World Mobile Congress, Samsung of South Korea, had pulled out of the show in order to ensure that their staff were not exposed to potential danger leaving a huge hole.
Then as others started debating whether or not to continue to participate, the organisers GSMA which has offices all over the world, made a last minute decision to cancel the show completely blaming it on the inability of some companies to travel and blaming the decision on the Coronavirus.
Now it is all about who will pay for the lost costs of all of the companies which were due to take part and whether there will be insurance to recompense them.
Unfortunately for GSMA, not only will they lose the good will of customers (many which are very rich), they may not be able to rely upon ‘force majeure’ as neither the World Health Organisation not the Catalan government instructed them to cancel the show.
One official commented that the action appeared to be because of fear of an outbreak, because at the time no individuals had been infected.
In such a scenario, should the insurance taken out by the stand holders (and those booked to speak at the WMC) not cover them, it seems most likely that they will seek redress from GSMA.
Lawyers will already be gathering to give advice to all concerned.