Daycare offered a Stint to retract lawsuit: report
Stint Urban Mobility owner Edwin Renzen wants daycare Het Kinderstraatje in Almere to retract a lawsuit filed against Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure, and offered the owner of the daycare, Michelle van Zundert, a brand new Stint next year in return, if the company still exists by then that is, the Telegraaf reports.
Het Kinderstraatje filed a lawsuit against the Minister last week because she banned Stint cargo bikes from the road. This ban was implemented after the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate concluded that Stints may be unsafe - problems with the power supply and handbrake could result in the vehicles stopping suddenly or being unable to brake. The Inspectorate is investigating Stints after four children were killed in a collision between a Stint and a train in Oss on September 20th. The Stint involved in that crash was repaired four times since last summer - its battery was replaced three times and there was a problem with its throttle.
Now that Stints are banned from public roads, Het Kinderstraatje has to find a different way to transport the children in its care. And that creates extra costs. According to Van Zundert, walking with the kids is no option because it creates dangerous traffic situations. In the summary proceedings filed against the Minister Van Zundert's lawyer, Werner van Bentem, demands that the Stint is allowed on the road again, or otherwise compensation, according to the newspaper.
Renzen, on the other hand, wants to fight the Stint ban by negotiating with the Ministry. This lawsuit will "disrupt" that dialogue, he said to the newspaper. "I think it will run tensions even higher. The last thing we need is for everyone to be ready to fight. I submitted that to Michelle", he said.
Renzen told the newspaper that his company has been working on a 'new' Stint for two years. It will be released in September next year, if the company still exists. He acknowledged that he promised one new Stint to Van Zundert if she retracts the lawsuit. "With that I honestly said: if that future exists. So how much of a bribe is it if you take the certainty away?" he said to the Telegraaf. "I said it purely out of sympathy. If that is interpreted that I want to bribe her with money, wow. It was really not the intention to put her under any kind of pressure."
Van Zundert's lawyer Van Bentem will push through with the lawsuit, he said to the newspaper. "What Renzen does, looks like bribery", the lawyer said. He thinks Renzen is worried about damage claims, and that is why he is against the lawsuit. He also finds Renzen's reasoning strange. "Renzen first says that his company can only keep going for a week or four, but now he wants to negotiate with the ministry, which can take months. In the meantime, daycares have to manage without Stints."
With the lawsuit, Van Bentem also wants to find out who can be held liable for childcare institutions' damages. According to him, the Ministry is also afraid of damage claims from daycares. "The Minister is not authorized to ban vehicles at all. Only the RDW may withdraw an earlier approval. When I submitted this to the ministry, I received an evasive response, without a reference to the article that would allow it."