Easygas has been ordered to pay Liquigas more than half a million euros after being found guilty of taking over, storing and using gas cylinders owned by its competitor.

The case was instituted by gas cylinder supplier Liquigas in March 2011.

The complaint was that Easygas had taken over a large number of Liquigas gas cylinders. Some of these were exported and efforts were made to erase their distinguishing ownership marks.

Liquigas said the situation had caused a shortage of gas cylinders while at the same time it could be held responsible for cylinders that were no longer under its control.

Easygas argued that third parties were under no obligation to return gas cylinders to Liqui-gas, adding that the claims of responsibility in cases of an accident were hypothetical.

The court upheld Liquigas’s claims and ordered Easygas to stop collecting Liquigas cylinders. However, it said that in view of practical difficulties, it was not ordering the return of the cylinders to Liquigas.

Mr Justice Mark Chetcuti or-dered Easygas to pay Liquigas €578,715 in damages.

Last week Liquigas embarked on a campaign to collect repainted cylinders. It said in a statement that there were a number of Liquigas green and yellow cylinders that had been illegally repainted dark grey and filled by third parties.

Liquigas said it was offering to replace free of charge the repainted cylinders, used or sealed, with a full Liquigas green or yellow cylinder.

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