BERLIN May 14 A German judge has asked Deutsche
Bahn for more evidence to back its claim for damages
against Bombardier, based on its argument that the
world's biggest train maker deliberately sold it defective local
commuter trains that had suffered a series of breakdowns since
At the start of the civil proceedings on Wednesday, Judge
Lothar Juenemann said in state court in Berlin that Deutsche
Bahn had so far not provided enough proof that the Canadian
company had intentionally deceived the German national railways.
"I find it hard to speak of wilful deception here,"
Juenemann said during a three-hour hearing. He added that
intentional deception would have to be proven for there to be
A lawyer for Deutsche Bahn's subsidiary S-Bahn Berlin said
the company stood by its claim that Bombardier had deliberately
deceived it about the quality of train equipment, in particular
the wheels and brakes.
But a lawyer for Bombardier rejected Deutsche Bahn's claims
and asked the court to quickly end the lawsuit with a clear
The judge asked S-Bahn Berlin to provide further backing for
its case in writing within three months. After that, Bombardier
would have the chance to respond in writing. The judge postponed
the civil case until February 2015.
Deutsche Bahn is suing Bombardier for 350 million euros
($480 million) in damages, alleging "serious defects" with the
brakes and wheels. The lawsuit comes after the collapse of
attempts by the two companies to reach an out-of-court
Bombardier has said the claims regarding the Class 481
trains used on the S-Bahn line in Berlin were without merit and
the allegations were defamatory.
According to Bombardier, the general warranty for the S-Bahn
trains ended in 2007 by mutual agreement.
S-Bahn Berlin has been responsible for the trains'
maintenance from the start and Bombardier had no contractual
obligations for maintenance and repair of the 481 series, the
Canadian company said last year.
Deutsche Bahn is suing Bombardier separately for an
additional 160 million euros over issues with other trains.
(Reporting by Thorsten Severin; Writing by Michael Nienaber;
Editing by David Holmes)