Business

Judgement day finally arrives

TELL Claudienne

Sunday, April 23, 2017    

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Dear Claudienne,

On April 23, 1993, the father of my three sons died in a car accident in St Ann. The deceased and my three sons aged four, seven, and two years were passengers in the Lada motor car that overturned. My husband’s neck was broken and my two-year-old son suffered severe brain damage as a result of the accident.

I then asked a legal aid lawyer for help to sue the driver of the Lada and the woman who owned the vehicle on behalf of my infant son. In the court claim against the two defendants I was identified as my son the first claimant’s mother and Next of Friend, and I was also the second claimant in the suit.

I have also suffered more misfortune, as a few years after the car accident a berserk machete wielder severely damaged one of my legs which had to be amputated.


Although the court action against the Lada driver and the owner of the Lada was tried in the Supreme Court on June 24 and 25, 2009, at the time of writing to you on March 15, 2017, the judgement has not yet been handed down.

When I kept checking over the years to try to find out when the judgement would be handed down, I was told that the file could not be found at the Supreme Court. In 2013 or 2014, my attorney gave me a letter to take to the clerk at the Supreme Court who dealt with “Lost files”. I gave her the letter and she promised to call me, but she never did.

I was then advised to write to the Chief Justice.

I sent the following letter dated November 23, 2015 to the Chief Justice:

“I am using this medium to make an inquiry regarding a pending court judgement in a case that was settled from 2009 but for which no judgement has yet been handed down.

I am still baffled as to what has caused the judge to delay in handing down the judgement. While we have waited so long, I have struggled to raise my children whose father died as a result of the accident in 1993 in which my three sons also suffered. I have had to face the hardship of caring for my son who suffered brain damage from the accident, and in recent years, my other son, who was also in the accident, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

In addition, my dwelling house was destroyed by fire and I have no regular place of abode. I lost my leg as a result of an attack by a machete wielder which has limited my ability to earn in a manner that I used to. I am now 49 years old and can hardly go on like this much longer. Several attempts have been made by me and my lawyers seeking answers, but to no avail. I have attached copies of letters regarding same as proof. While we suffer, we await a closure and settlement that would ease some of the burdens we now bear.

I have appointed ........ to represent us on the matter. The claim# is C.L. -- Kindly treat this matter with urgency as we are desperate for compensation to allow us to live above the deprived condition we are now in.

As I have been unable to get any help from the office of the Chief Justice, I would appreciate your help to get closure in this matter.

JG

Dear JG,

For weeks

Tell Claudienne tried to contact one of the registrars at the Supreme Court, but to no avail. With the assistance of the executive secretary of the Chief Justice we were finally able to speak to a different registrar on April 12. She apologised for the situation and promised to sort out the matter.

On April 13, 2017 the Chief Justice’s executive secretary sent us the following e-mail:

I have been asked by the Registrar to indicate to you that the matter has been completed by the Judge and judgement will be delivered shortly. She will communicate with you to advise of the exact date.”

On Wednesday April 19, 2017 the registrar informed

Tell Claudienne that the judge would hand down the judgement on Thursday April 20 at 10am.

We informed you, and note that you came to Kingston and attended the court to hear the judgement.

You said that the judge apologised for the delay in handing down the judgement.

We wish you all the best.

Have a problem with a store, utility or company? Telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail:edwardsc@jamaicaobserver.com. Please include a contact phone number.

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