IN THE SUPREME COURT OF GRENADA
AND THE WEST INDIES ASSOCIATED STATES
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
CLAIM NO. GDAHCV 2009/0279
NATIONAL INSURANCE BOARD
Mr. Derick F Sylvester for the Claimant
Mr. Ruggles Ferguson and Ms. AnyikaJohnson for the Defendant
2013: April 4; May 29.
 MOHAMMED, J.: On 26th July 2006 the Claimant lost control of his motor vehicle
while driving along the Calivigny Main Road, St George, causing him to lose his
right hand above the elbow. At the time of the accident the Claimant was a
Sergeant in the Royal Grenada Police Force (“the RGPF”) assigned to the
Grenada Port Authority as the Port Security Officer (“the PSO”) and as the certified
Port Security Facility Officer (“the PSFO”). His application for disablement benefits
pursuant to the National Insurance (Employment Injury Benefit) Regulation1 was
refused by the Defendant on the basis that he was not injured during the course of
1 SRO #7 of 1998. Sections 7-10 of the second schedule of the National Insurance Act provides that in
amputation cases where there is a loss of arm between the elbow and the shoulder the insured is entitled to
80% disablement benefit.
his employment2. The Claimant was of the view that the accident which caused
his injuries was closely and directly connected with his employment and therefore
he was entitled to his National Insurance Benefit. He instituted this claim against
the Defendant for general damages under the provisions of the National Insurance
Act (“the Act”), special damages in the sum of $58,503.11, compensation for
disablement benefit and medical expenses under the Act.
 The parties agreed that the broad issue for determination by the Court is whether
at the time of the accident the Claimant, who was in insurable employment, was
acting in the course of his employment within the meaning of the Act. The
Defendant has acknowledged that if the Court determines this issue in the
Claimant’s favour, he would be entitled to disablement and other benefits under
the Act. However there are three narrow issues which separate the parties in
determining the broad issue. They are: (a) Was the Claimant performing one of
his duties or an act reasonably incidental to his duties when he was driving his
vehicle at the time of the accident; (b) Was the Claimant on continuous duty for 24
hours; and (c) Was the Claimant exposed to any particular risk by his employer at
the time of the accident .
 For the reasons set out hereafter, I find that the Claimant was not performing one
of his duties or a function reasonably incidental to his duties at the time of the
accident; he was not on 24 hours continuous duty; and he was not exposed to any
particular risk of injury by his employer at the time of the accident. Therefore, I
find that at the time of the accident the Claimant was not acting “in the course of
his employment” and as such he is not entitled to disablement and other benefits
under the Act. The Claimant’s action is dismissed with costs to be assessed if not
2 Regulation 8(5) of the National Insurance (Determination of Claims and Questions ) Regulation A 37 SRO 5
states that “ For purposes of this regulation, an accident whereby a person suffers personal injury shall be
deemed in relation to him to be an employment accident if :
a. It arises out of and in the course of employment….”
Was the Claimant performing one of his duties or a function reasonably
incidental to his duties at the time of the accident?
 The Claimant contends that he was performing one of his duties as the PSO and
or a function reasonably incidental to his duties as PSO when he was driving his
private motor vehicle at the time of the accident. The Defendant did not share this
position and instead submitted that at the time of the accident the Claimant was on
his way to work at the Melville Street Terminal.
 The Claimant’s duties as PSO included but were not limited to “24 hours
supervision to Personnel attached to the Grenada Port Authority security3” and
“Clearance and security agreements for ships in excess of 500 gross tons on
international and high speed crafts and passenger ships4. Some of his non- ship
duties included patrol and security of the entrance and exit gates. He was
responsible for the ports situate at the Carenage, Meville Street, Grenville, Queens
Park and Grand Mal. To meet his responsibilities the Claimant supervised about
33 persons (including 5 corporals). The 33 persons were attached to the Port
Authority at St George’s Port and the Melville Street Terminal since there were no
other security personnel based elsewhere. They were rostered by the Claimant to
work 8-10 hours shifts for 5 consecutive days. The corporals were responsible for
the direct supervision of the security personnel but the Claimant remained with the
overall responsibility. While the corporals and other officers had specific hours of
work based on how they were rostered, the Claimant was not required to report to
any of the ports for any specific hours and as such his hours were flexible.
 In support of the Claimant’s contention that the driving of his private motor vehicle
from his home to the Grenada Port Authority was one of his duties and/or
reasonably incidental to his duties as PSO, he relied on his payment of a mileage
allowance. The Claimant was paid a mileage allowance of $1.75 per mile for the
use of his private motor vehicle for commuting from his home to the various ports
3 Paragraph 6 i. of witness statement of Francis James filed 26th April 2010.
4 Paragraph 6 ii. of witness statement of Francis James filed 26th April 2010
for which he was responsible. This sum which was approximately 400 to 500
miles per month and was in addition to the Claimant’s salary of $3,340.00 per
month as a Sergeant in the RGPF. The Commissioner of Police was responsible
for checking, verifying and paying the mileage allowance.
 The Claimant’s witness, Mr. James Clarkson, former Commissioner of Police
confirmed the payment of a mileage allowance to the Claimant at that time. He
stated in his witness statement “I am aware that he was being paid a travelling
allowance of EC $1.75 per mile for travelling to and from work and any other
duties assigned to him wherein he has to use his personal transport5”. Under
cross-examination he stated that the payment of mileage allowance was based on
the responsibility of the police officer and not on rank and that mileage allowance
was calculated from the officer’s base at home to his operational base at the port.
 In R v National Insurance Commissioner, ex parte Michael 6 the issue was
whether or not a police officer who was injured while playing a football match
when he was off duty had been acting within the course of his employment. The
test applied to determine the issue was, whether the injury had been suffered in
the actual course of work the police officer had been employed to do or by some
other activity incidental to that work. The court held that an accident during the
match did not arise out of and in the course of his employment.
 In Faulkner v Chief Adjudication Officer 7 the appellant, a police officer was also
injured while playing football for the Staffordshire Police Football Club. His claim
for disablement benefit was rejected by the adjudication officer who said that the
accident did not arise out of and in the course of his employment, which was one
of the requirements for such a claim under section 50 (1) of the Social Security Act
of 1975. He appealed to the Social Security Appeal Tribunal on the basis that a
memorandum outlined that his presence was needed on that day in particular
5 Paragraph 5 of witness statement of James Clarkson filed 26th April 2010
6 1977 2 All ER 420
7 The Times April 8,1994 C.A.
when he was off duty and as such he was acting out of and in the course of his
employment when he was injured. The appeal was dismissed on the ground that
although he owed a moral duty to the police force and his teammates to take part
in football matches, there was no evidence suggesting that the requirement to play
football was incidental to his contractual obligation to the force. The duty of the
appellant was to carry out these responsibilities as a member of the drug squad of
his police force, which had nothing to do with him being a member of the police
 In Alderman v Great Western Railway8, the appellant, the railway ticket collector
who lived at Oxford, was injured when he fell on his way to catch the train to
London which was to connect him to the Swansea station. As a result of his
injury, he was incapacitated for twenty-two (22) weeks and claimed compensation
for the injury on the grounds that it had occurred out of and in the course of his
employment. The question was whether or not the employee was acting within the
course of his employment since there might have been an interruption in his
employment by him leaving his employer’s premises. It was held that the mere
fact that the accident happened while the appellant was on his way to work was
not sufficient to establish that he had been injured in the course of his
employment. Lord Russell of Killowen noted that in order for the appellant to claim
compensation, some other element must be present such as that involving the
discharge of some contractual duty to the employer which extends the course of
employment to the time the accident took place9.
 When I examine the Claimant’s duties, there is no evidence that travelling from his
home to any port was included as one of his duties. Further, there is no basis for
me to infer that the Claimant driving his car from his home to the port was
reasonably incidental to the performance of his duties. Clearly Mr. Clarkson’s
reference to the Claimant’s home in La Tante was in the context of where the
8 1937 All ER 408
9 1937 All ER 412
Claimant lived and not where he worked as one of his operational bases. I agree
with the Defendant that a distinction must be made between being paid mileage
allowance for the use of a private vehicle and performing a duty during the course
of the employment. Mileage relates to a special arrangement for the use of one’ s
private motor vehicle and work relates to duties done in the furtherance of one’s
employment. Driving from home to attend a meeting held during regular hours of
work cannot constitute a duty or reasonably incidental to a duty of the Claimant. In
my view, the Claimant was being paid a mileage allowance to compensate him for
using his motor vehicle to arrive at his various places of work.
 I find that the act by the Claimant of driving his private vehicle from his home to the
Port of St. Georges was not one of his duties neither was it reasonably incidental
to his duties.
Was the Claimant on 24 hours continuous duty at the time of the accident?
 The Claimant contends that as the PSO he was on 24 hours continuous duty. The
Defendant disagreed with this position and submitted that the Claimant was on call
for 24 hours and not on 24 hours continuous duty.
 At paragraph 6 of the Claimant’s witness statement, the Claimant stated that “I
was deemed to be on continuous 24 hours duty10”. Under cross-examination the
Claimant stated that, “Generally I have no day or night time hours. I am employed
on a 24-hour basis as the person in charge of security. Yes, I do sleep. I sleep on
an average 8 hours. Yes, I get paid even while I am asleep. Even when I home I
receive calls at home from my work place, from the Commissioner of Police so I
am working even while I am sleeping. As Supervisor I was paid the salary of
Sergeant of Police. That was a fixed salary. I was paid EC $3,340.00. That was
the same salary I was paid as Sergeant before I became supervisor. Before
supervisor I was assigned to the St. David Police Station. I was a desk Sergeant
10 Witness statement of Francis James filed 26th April 2010
at the St. David’s police Station. While I was there I was on 24 hours duty. I
consider all corporals to be on 24 hours duty”. He admitted that the corporals
were responsible for direct supervision of security personnel but as the person
with overall responsibility he would be called out to duty when the need arose.
Under cross-examination the Claimant stated that his home in La Tante was one
of his bases and that he was provided with a cellular phone and a desktop
computer which allowed him to work at home.
 However, the Claimant’s position was not supported by the evidence of the
Claimant’s witnesses Lazarus Joseph and James Clarkson. Lazarus Joseph, who
was the Supervisor of the Melville Street Cruise Terminal/ Senior Marine Pilot and
Ship Inspector at the time of the accident and whose duties included liaising with
the Claimant on security matters, confirmed that he contacted the Claimant late at
nights “when alarms would have gone off at the Cruise Terminal11” and “to inform
him of arriving ships that required Declaration of Security to be signed12. He also
stated that he “had on numerous occasions in the year 2006 to call the Claimant at
his home via his cellular number 473-405-3195 which said phone was issued to
the Claimant13”. He confirmed that “on every occasion when I tried to contact the
Claimant, irrespective as to the time of the day, I was able to reach him14.
 Mr. Joseph admitted that since the Claimant was also a PSFO it was mandatory
based on the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code that the Claimant
“make himself available 24 hours a day, hence the provision of a cellular phone15.
Under cross-examination he confirmed that he was unaware where the Claimant
lived, and that he could not say when he contacted the Claimant via the cellular
phone if the Claimant was at home. Mr. Joseph never stated that he attended at
the Claimant’s home for any work related business. It is clear to me from Mr.
Lazarus Joseph’s evidence that he understood that the Claimant had flexible
11 Paragraph 8 i. of witness statement of Lazarus Joseph filed 26th April 2010
12 Paragraph 8 ii. of witness statement of Lazarus Joseph filed 26th April 2010
13 Paragraph 6 of witness statement of Lazarus Joseph filed 26th April 2010
14 Paragraph 11 of witness statement of Lazarus Joseph filed 26th April 2010
15 Paragraph 10 of witness statement of Lazarus Joseph filed 26th April 2010
hours of work, and he did not expect the Claimant to be on 24 hours continuous
duty but rather on call for 24 hours.
 Mr. James Clarkson, who was the Commissioner of Police at the time of the
accident, stated that the PSO was on call for 24 hours and not on 24 continuous
duty. James Clarkson contradicted the Claimant’s assertion of being on 24 hours
continuous duty when he stated under cross-examination, “How can any police
officer be paid to sleep? No, they get paid to work”. Mr. Clarkson made no
distinction between the Claimant and a regular police officer who was on call for
24 hours. I have attached considerable weight to Mr. Clarkson’s distinction since
he was the Claimant’s ultimate superior and that as the Commissioner of Police he
was well placed to have a proper appreciation when an officer is on call and when
he is on duty.
 Having regard to the evidence from all the Claimant’s witnesses, including the
Claimant, I accept that the Claimant was a very senior officer assigned to the Port
with very important responsibilities to ensure the smooth functioning of the Port
Authority’s operations. It is precisely because of his seniority that he was allowed
to have flexible hours of work and he was not required to sign in. However, in my
view, all flexible hours of work meant is he was not required to report to a specific
port for a specific time. In my view it did not mean that the Claimant’s home was
one of his operational bases as he contends. The provision of a cellular phone is
evidence to me that he was on call for 24 hours and that he can be reached at
short notice to indicate to him that he was required for active duty. The provision
of the desktop computer, was also consistent with his flexible hours. In my view,
whenever he reported to a port, that is when he became on active duty. Outside
of this time he was simply on-call. It appeared to me that it was the Claimant who
deemed himself to be on continuous 24 hours duty and not his senior, the
Commissioner of Police or even Mr Lazarus Joseph.
 I therefore find that the Claimant was on call for 24 hours and not on 24 hours
continuous active duty. Therefore at the time of the accident the Claimant was on
call and he was not on active duty when he was injured.
Was the Claimant exposed to any particular risk by his employer at the time
of the accident?
 In examining whether a person who is travelling on a public road is /is not acting
within the course of his employment Halsbury’s Laws of England16 described
the test which the Court must apply as “whether the employee was exposed to the
particular risk by reason of his employment or whether he took the same risks as
those incurred by any member of the public using the road.”
 In Smith v Stages17 the primary issue to be decided was whether or not an
employee involved in an accident was acting within the course of his employment
when he was injured. In that case, two employees who were on their way back
from installing insulation at a power station were involved in an accident. The car
which was driven by the first defendant crashed through a brick wall, injuring one
(1) employee. The injured employee brought an action against the first defendant
and the employers alleging that they were vicariously liable for the first defendant’s
negligence since he had been acting, “in the course of his employment” whilst
driving the two (2) employees back from the power station. The court held that an
employee travelling on the highway is acting within the course of his employment
only if at the material time he is carrying out his employer’s business. The court
made a distinction between the duty to turn up for work and the concept of already
being on duty whilst travelling to the workplace. In this case the employees were
already on duty.
16 4th ed Vol 33 paragraph 490
17 1989 1 All ER 833
 The Claimant stated “On the 26th July 2006, I came from my home at La Tante and
was en route to the St George’s Port. This is my normal route of travel to get to
work18”. One of his witnesses James Clarkson stated “At the time of the accident,
the Claimant was en route to the St George’s Port Authority from his home in La
Tante, St David’s19”.
 I agree with the Defendant that in the instant case the Claimant was not exposed
to any risk created by his employer the RGPF or even by extension the Grenada
Port Authority since the accident took place on a public road, the Calivigny Main
Road which was used by persons at large and the Claimant was the author of his
own accident. The Claimant was merely using the public road to get from his
home to his place of work at the Melville Street Terminal to attend a meeting,
where he would have taken up his duties.
 I therefore find that the Claimant was not exposed to any particular risk by the
RGPF or even the Grenada Port Authority by driving his private motor vehicle
along the Calivigny Main Road at the time of the accident.
 The Claimant’s action is dismissed. The Claimant to pay the Defendant’s cost of the
action to be assessed if not agreed.
Margaret Y. Mohammed
High Court Judge
18 Paragraph 16 of the witness statement of Francis James filed 26th April 2010
19 Paragraph 4 of witness statement of James Clarkson filed 26th April 2010