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Club El Nogal ruling

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By Juan Diego Arango


Published 23 December 2020


On November 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of Justice confirmed the ruling of the Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Bogotá in which the Club El Nogal was condemned for the material and moral damages suffered by the plaintiffs as a consequence of the terrorist attack that occurred at the defendant's facilities on February 7, 2003.

Moving away from other precedents in this matter, the Court affirmed that the defendant had an obligation of security towards all the people who entered its facilities, having to guarantee the safety of all of them, qualifying such obligation as an obligation of result and not of medium.

It also ratified the position of the Court by alleging a neglect of said duty due to previous irregularities and concomitant to the terrorist attack, consisting of:

- Poor tracking of one of the Club members.

- Lack of access strictness in allowing strangers to enter club premises.

- Omissions in the access control due to not having bomb detection dogs at all entrances.

Additionally, it was argued that the attack could not be classified as force majeure, since its unpredictability was tempered by the social unrest that the country was experiencing at the time of the events, concluding that an attack was "to be expected."

This decision marks an important precedent in the potential responsibility attributable to individuals due to terrorist attacks. Hence, the interest in having specialized policies to cover these risks is rekindled, which have been in the local market for several years.