NAV social security scandal victims announce mass lawsuit against Norwegian state

NAVPhoto: Ørn E. Borgen / NTB
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The organization Nav-it has announced a class-action lawsuit against the Norwegian state with claims for compensation to the victims of the social security scandal.

Leader Rune Halseth and secretary Marianne Evensen at Nav-it announced the news on Wednesday. The two are also among the victims of the so-called NAV scandal. The idea is that the class action lawsuit will be filed on behalf of all those affected.

“We urge everyone affected to get in touch so that we get a complete overview,” Halseth told news bureau NTB. According to him, there is potentially talk of several thousand victims.

“It is desirable that as many as possible join in. The more we are, the stronger we stand.”

Several groups of victims  

The process notice in the case was sent to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs from Elden Advokatfirma on July 16. The Ministry wrote in a reply on July 27 that it is currently the end of the holiday period and that the letter will be answered “within a reasonable time.”

In its notice, Nav-it writes that a class action lawsuit will include “a claim for repayment of unjustifiably recovered social security payments, compensation for financial loss, and reparation for the injustice the state has inflicted on the individual.”

The organization refers to several different groups of victims in the case:  

* Those who have wrongfully served sentences

* Those who have received incorrect repayment claims

* Those who have renounced social security in order to travel abroad

* Those who have not left the country to be able to keep social security benefits

Money back with interest

Lawyer Bjørn Kvernberg, who represents Nav-it, believes a class action lawsuit will raise several interesting legal issues.

“If you are branded a criminal, will the state then pay reparation for the burden you suffered? This is a legal area that has never really been tried before,” Kvernberg told NTB. He believes it will also be an advantage for the state to get all the cases together in one.

“Everyone who has been punished must receive compensation. Everyone who has been exposed to unjustified repayment claims must get their money back with interest,” Kvernberg said.

Uncovered in 2019

The NAV scandal was uncovered in 2019 when it was revealed that the NAV had misinterpreted and misused the EU social security regulation for years and, on an incorrect basis, refused Norwegians’ export of social security benefits to other member states in the EEA.

In July, the Supreme Court ruled that the social security scandal applies to cases dating back to 1994. The Supreme Court then acquitted a man who had previously been sentenced to prison for having been in Italy while receiving support from the NAV.

The ruling in the Supreme Court is expected to set a precedent for other cases where persons may have been wrongly convicted of social security fraud in connection with the scandal.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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