A Municipal Police Constable who was injured after he fell off a defective chair in a police post at the Port-of-Spain Central Market six years ago has been awarded $227,000 in damages and legal costs.
The Port-of-Spain City Corporation through its mayor, councillors and citizens of the city, accepted liability in the negligence claim brought by constable Dillraj Ramkissoon and agreed to pay the money.
Ramkissoon suffered injuries which left him with a 25 per cent permanent disability and unable to return to work.
He also had to give up his position as an accredited football referee with the T&T Football Referee Association attached to the Central Zone and can no longer participate in recreational football.
In the documents filed by his attorneys Kevin Ratiram and Kiran Panday, Ramkissoon recalled that the incident occurred on February 8, 2013. He was assigned to perform Sentry duties at the charge room of the police post which was situated at the market.
He was seated on a swivel chair, which was among the furniture provided for the officers by the Corporation, when one of the wheels broke off, causing him to fall backwards.
As this happened, his head struck a concrete wall and then he fell to the floor.
Ramkissoon contended that this was caused by the defendant’s negligence as they provided him with a defective chair and failed to maintain or inspect the chair. Ramkissoon also submitted that Insp Glen Charles, also attached to the Municipal Police, wrote a letter to the National Insurance Board in relation to this matter.
The letter stated”…according to the investigator’s report the said chair was faulty and PC Ramkissoon did not use the chair inappropriately in any way to contribute to the said injuries.” Through his attorney, Ramkissoon sent a pre-action protocol letter to the defendant in September 2014 but got no response.
The defendant initially filed a defence in the matter. However, the parties subsequently entered into a consent order. Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh ordered the Corporation to pay to Ramkissoon the sum of $200,000, inclusive of damages and interest.
The defendant also has to pay Ramkissoon’s legal fees of $27,000. A 42-day stay of execution was allowed.
The State was represented by attorneys Issa Jones and Farai Hove Masaisai.
LINK ORIGINAL: The Trinidad Guardian