UAE-based Maria Trading wins suit over Korean supplier

Maria Trading Co., a leading aesthetics device and product supplier based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said that it has won a lawsuit against Daeju Meditech Engineering concerning the latter’s supply of unauthorized medical devices.

A local court has ordered Daeju to return the contract fee of 57,425,000 won ($50,000) and pay the interest of 5 percent per annum from Feb. 19 of last year to the date of full payment to Maria Trading after the plaintiff returns the 10 Hipro-V, a face-lifting medical device it had purchased from the accused.

Maria Trading signed a contract with Daeju to purchase 10 Hipro-V for $50,000 on Feb. 27, 2017. Daeju also designated Maria Trading as the exclusive importer of its devices.
Maria Trading paid the entire amount to Daeju in March that year and received the device in April.
However, Maria Trading later confirmed that Hipro-V had not received official approval from the Korean regulator as a medical device at the time of the contract.

Daeju received regulatory approval for Hipro, a similar model, on June 20, 2014. For Hipro-V, however, the company received approval on Feb. 26, 2019, far after it signed the contract with Maria Trading.

Daeju claimed that the company had not done wrong as it had exported the device as an aesthetic device. However, the court raised the hand of Maria Trading, stressing that the company would not have signed the contract if it had known that the Korean regulator had not officially authorized the device.

“Hipro-V penetrates the patient’s skin and is recognized as a medical device, both in Korea and the UAE,” the court said. “Maria Trading is a company qualified as a medical device sales agent in the UAE, and has also registered Hipro-V as a medical device following UAE law.”

Therefore, the court added that Maria Trading seems to have entered into the contract assuming that Hipro-V had received official licensing as a medical device under Korean laws and regulations.

The court stressed that while Daeju issued a free sales certificate to Maria Trading at the time of the contract, the certificate was for the Hipro device and not the Hipro-V.

“At that time, Daeju had only obtained a medical device manufacturing license for Hipro, and not for Hipro-V,” the court said. “Daeju received a medical device manufacturing license for Hipro-V on Feb. 26, 2019, after the two agreed.”

It also cited that Maria Trading continuously notified Daeju of device malfunction after the Hipro-V machines arrived in UAE.

Acknowledging such facts, Daeju is obliged to pay Maria Trading the $50,000 that it received from selling the device and the statutory interest thereon, as a counter-intuitive, the court said.

Commenting on the ongoing legal proceedings, Dr. Hassanein Alsaadi, CEO of Maria Trading, stressed that Daeju Meditech Engineering has breached corporate ethics in supplying medical equipment.

Recalling that the Korean court had questioned the Korean supplier’s credibility due to its problematic contract, CEO Alsaadi pointed out that the latter’s appeal to the high court was problematic by delaying the verdict from the lower court.

“Maria Trading has not yet received any settlement from the company even after a favorable court order according to this matter,” he said. “We are not only facing money loss but also loss of time due to this procrastinating activity by Daeju Meditech, which, I am afraid, might smear the reputation of the overall Korean industry.”

Vowing to take action if it fails to receive the payment settlement, the top manager of Maria Trading said, “We will no longer endure the delay of judicial justice and continue legal proceedings for truth,” Dr. Alsaadi said.

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