THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SUPREME COURT
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
CLAIM NO. SVGHCV2013/0114
COREAS HAZELLS INC.
Mr. Joseph Delves of Counsel for the Claimant
Mr. Stanley K. John and Ms. Keisal Peters of Counsel for the Defendant
2014: March 20th
REASONS FOR DECISION
 TAYLOR-ALEXANDER M: This was an oral decision delivered for which the parties have
requested the court’s documented reasons. The following is a summary of the court’s decision.
 This case came on for the assessment of damages, for the injury, loss and damage suffered by the
claimant as a result of an injury she sustained at the premises of the defendant Coreas Hazels Inc.
trading as Ace Hardware. The claimant was walking along an isle when she met injury of her big
toe. It was sliced on a metal kitchen sink displayed in the defendant’s retail outlet. It lay leaned on
the floor. The claimed injuries are detailed in her claim and in the report of Dr. Charles Woods.
 The wound healed with an elevated hypigmented, hypertrophic scar and the claimant was forced to
have plastic surgery to address these difficulties and the appearance of the scar. She saw Dr.
Barry Aussi (MD).
 Damages to the claimant are to be assessed under the heads of general and special damages.
See British Transport Commission v Gourley1.
 The special damages were agreed in the sum of $2,494.55, with the exception of the sum of
$130.00, being a sum for crutches which I have allowed as having been pleaded, particularized
and proven by the evidence in the witness statement of the claimant, and thereafter the difference
is accounted for by a mathematical discrepancy.
 I have assessed special damages in the sum of $2,854.68, which includes the agreed sum of
$550.00 for the further surgery required to improve the appearance of the scarring
 The claim was for pain, suffering and loss of amenities. The parties are agreed on the factors to
which I must have regard in making an award for general damages. See Conilliac v St. Louis
The following was the relevant medical evidence:—
Dr. Jose Davy
1  3 AER pg 796
2  7 WIR 491
 I have had regard to the medical report of Dr. Jose Davy, which reports a 2cm laceration of the left
great toe with moderate bleeding, and her return complaining of decreased range of movement to
the left great toe. On examination the patient was only able to elevate to 40 degrees flexion.
Dr Charles Woods
 On the 17th September, 2011 the claimant had traverse wounds of the dorsum of the toe and was
unable to dorsiflex. There was a laceration of the hallicis longus tendon. It was surgically repaired
and her foot was casted post operatively. The cast remained for six (6) weeks. The healing was
complicated by post operative wound infection. The patient was expected to recover full function of
the toe with no anticipated long-term problems, apart from the surgical scar.
18th February, 2012: Addendum: The claimant was seen complaining of chronic pain to the toe at
the MTI joint when wearing shoes, especially high heals. Dr. Woods concluded that the pain
experienced may be related to joint stiffness secondary to casting and incomplete rehabilitation.
The claimant was directed to undertake exercise and physiotherapy.
Dr. Barry Aussi
 Dr. Barry Aussi performed cosmetic surgery to improve the appearance of the scar. The surgery
reduced the hypertrophic scar to a normal scar.
Summary of Claimant’s submission:-
 The claimant submits that the court is to have regard to the following:
(a) The claimant had three (3) surgeries.
(b) The injury must be seen as a serious injury which has and will continue to have a
lifelong effect on the claimant’s life. She has been permanently scarred on her toe.
She continues to suffer with chronic pain, with frequent cracking and faces the
possibility of arthritis.
 The claimant states that her social life has been impacted. She is usually active and these activities
were curtailed by the injury, and her pleasure of wearing high heels except for brief periods has
had to be reduced. Her counsel submits on the authority of John Moukmai’s Damages for Personal
Injury and Death that her age as a relatively young person must be factored. The claimant relies
on the authority of Donna Bailey v Cyril Moukram et al Civil Appeal 7 of 1972 to justify an award
I have discounted entirely the consideration of post arthritis on the basis that it is unsupported by
the medical evidence as a likely outcome, although I agree it was not ruled out. I consider that the
likelihood of arthritis to be too remote for me to consider increasing an award based on
unsupported medical evidence.
Submissions of the Defendant
 The defence challenges the analysis of the impact of Bailey v Moukram, and the claimant’s
reasoning as to the likely updated award updated by today’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). The
defendant’s conclusions after a detailed analysis of the CPI and its use by the courts of our
jurisdiction and using the CPI for Grenada as at September 2013, was that the award in Bailey v
Moukram updated under the 2013 CPI would be $44,446.63. Thereafter, accounting for the
differences in the two (2) cases, the defendant submits that a sum of between $11,111.65 –
$15,556.32 should be where an appropriate award is pegged; such award would be 25% – 35% the
degree of comparability of the two (2) cases.
 I do not intend to get drawn into the intellectual argument as to the appropriate CPI, for these
present purposes I consider it unnecessary. I do not consider the scientific precision in the
calculation of and the use of the appropriate CPI to be the foundation from which this award should
launch. These age adjusted awards are not the most desirable means of arriving at an award, and
in fact the more aged the judgment the more the attempt at scientific precision is defeated. Bailey
v Moukram is a decision delivered in 1972! I pause to note however, that it would be impractical
for an award made in Grenada and presumably made according to the standard of living there, to
be updated and its current value assessed using a CPI of a country other than Grenada. I accept
the methodology proposed by Elizabeth Law Chambers, and consider the sum of $44,446.63, as
the value of the award updated to 2013. But I have difficulty in using such an aged award.
A consideration of a comparable award in my view is a consideration of all of the factors relevant at
that time to the award, made or to be made.
 In awarding damages for personal injury the court must try to achieve consistency, and the
circumstances in which an award is made, coupled with the impact on the claimant’s life in my view
is of no less significance, than the sum allocated for the actual injury sustained. In the Privy
Council case of Singh v Toong Omnibus Co  3 All ER 925 the court stated that if a case
bears a measure of similarity then it may be possible to find a reflection in them of consensus of
judicial opinion. That is not to say that damages should not be standardized, or that there should
be an attempt at rigid classification. It is but to recognize that since in a court of law compensation
for physical injury can only be assessed or fixed in monetary terms, the best the court can do is
hope to achieve some measure of uniformity by paying heed to any current trend of considered
That in my view is what is to be achieved in the consideration of comparable awards. That principle
would be defeated in the consideration of an award so aged and it is in my view inappropriate after
a certain time frame has passed to rely inestimably on the consumer price index.
 Putting that aside I return to the issue at heart, being an appropriate award for the claimant.
 I have considered the guidelines provided by Wooding CJ, in the application of my discretion. I
have considered the evidence of the claimant and the reports and evidence of the attending
 I note that under the UK system of awards the Judicial College (JC) formerly the Judicial Studies
Board (JSB) which usually offers guidelines as to the appropriate range for an injury sustained,
categorizes noticeable scars or a single disfiguring scar of (leg)s, (arm)s, (hand)s, back of chest
(male) in the bracket of an award of £5,500.00 to £16,700.00 and for single noticeable scar or
several superficial scars with some minor cosmetic deficit as attracting awards of between
£1,750.00 and £5,600.00.
 I have also considered the following cases from our jurisdiction which offer some comparison:
Elisha Lewis v Worrell John SLUHC2003/0371 (unreported). The claimant was a 35 year
old woman who suffered fractures of her left clavicle, ribs, the left superior, pubic ramus
and of a number of bones in her left foot during her hospitalization. She suffered a chest
infection. She had to undergo secondary suturing on her left foot and surgery of the left
clavicle. Her foot remains inverted with hyper sensitivity and tenderness over the skin
grafting. She has an overriding left 4th toe from the scar contracture and tenderness in her
left heel. She had a dislocated joint and osteoarthritis in the left foot and she was left with
serious scarring. She cannot walk without pain or limping and cannot stand for long
periods or her foot swells.
She has lost completely the ability to go jogging which she did, walks on the beach which
she did every morning; she cannot drive or walk properly up stairs. These are permanent
effects of the injury she sustained. She has to wear special open shoes which show her
scars and she cannot wear elegant high heels as she used to. She now has intimacy
problems due to irritation of the clavicle bone, and she has difficulty wearing clothes with
straps due to the scarring of her shoulder. The court in 2005 awarded the claimant
Rosabel Chambers v Frank Gooding SVGHCV1991/0113. This claimant sustained soft
tissue injury and lacerations of her left leg. She was awarded $6,000.00 in 1998, Baptiste J
having found that her pecuniary prospects were unaffected, there was no impairment of
pecuniary prospects, and no evidence of physical disability.
 In this case and having applied the guidelines, I too find no evidence of impairment of pecuniary
prospects and other than a small scar on her big toe, no physical disability. I do not accept the
evidence of the claimant that such a small scar can have the debilitating impact on her social
activities as she alleges. I award the claimant the sum of $17,000.00 for General Damages, for a
total award of $19,854.68. Interest is awarded on special damages at the rate of 3% from injury to
judgment and on general and special damages from judgment to payment in full at the rate of 6%
 Judgment having been entered in default, costs are for the claimant, calculated at 60% of the
V. GEORGIS TAYLOR-ALEXANDER
HIGH COURT MASTER