Norwegian authorities, Måsøval appeal court decision on pancreas disease misdiagnosis

A boat outside of one of Måsøval's salmon net pens.

Frøya, Norway-headquartered Måsøval and Norwegian authorities have both appealed a case that saw the company receive NOK 12.8 million (USD 1.2 million, EUR 1.1 million) in compensation for the misdiagnosis of PD SAV3 at one of its salmon-farming facilities in 2019. 

Måsøval announced the lawsuit against the state on 3 May 2023, seeking NOK 29.8 million (USD 2.8 million, EUR 2.6 million) in compensation for losses that the company incurred after its Kattholmen facility, in the Kristiansund municipality, was misdiagnosed with PD SAV3 in August 2019. PD SAV3, or pancreas disease caused by alphavirus subtype 3, is a highly contagious viral disease that can negatively impact Atlantic salmon.

At the time of the diagnosis, Måsøval was ordered to cull most of its fish at the Kattholmen facility, and the company also culled salmon at its neighboring Or facility. However, the authorities' initial findings turned out to be a misdiagnosis due to a laboratory error at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute.

Despite the misdiagnosis, Måsøval said Norway has continued to deny any compensation for its losses.

“The state acknowledged liability for the misdiagnosis in November 2022, [but] the state still does not recognize a causal link between the misdiagnosis and the financial loss suffered by Måsøval,” the company said.

The case went to trial in November 2023, and on 23 December a judge determined that Måsøval was owed compensation for its losses due to the misdiagnosis. The court's conclusion was that the state, represented by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries, would pay Måsøval NOK 12.8 million in compensation for loss of earnings and incurred expenses as a result of the misdiagnosis, plus accrued interest and delay interest.

However, in a filing with Euronext Growth (Oslo) Måsøval said the Norwegian government appealed the verdict on 2 February 2024, and that Måsøval itself submitted an independent appeal in the case on 5 February. 

Photo courtesy of Måsøval


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