SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
IN THE HIGH COUitT OF JUSTICE
NO.: 372 of 1992
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BETWEEN: KENNETH OLI\SGOW
, . rLA)NTJI.’~: ANJ;J I ,
K~I”RICK TH<\MAS ‘
Mr. Arthur Williams for the Plaintiff.
Mr. Samuel Commissiong for the Defendants.
13th October, 1997
Delivered 6th November, 1997
On the 25th of May, 1992 a tr~ffic accident occurred at Diamond invol~ng two trucks, T1773 and T3024. The PI~intiff was the owner of T1773 h’hi.ch at the time of 1he actideAt,~as being, driven by Bernard Smith. The second ri~fen~ant w~the driver ~f”r3021′ which wa~,owned~Y. the first Defendant. As a re~;ult of th! accident, TI77j sustam~d druitage to ‘i’ts cab whlh resulted in the cab having to be replaced. The Plaint~fhas filed this s~it ~gainst the Defendants alleging negligence and claimiqg $7,750.00 in special damages and ~Oflts. !rI6e~~ .was no independent eye-witllless to the accident and bott/’parties gjve.~damenta;iy djffe ent versions as
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to the cause of the accident. Th’~ only common threa4 I1mni1l1 througl(the evidenCe is Ihat.a t . ~
collision occurred between tht!se !wO vehicles.
Mr. Bernard Smith testified in examination-in-chief as follows: ·
“On 25th May, 1992 I knowMr. Glasgow oy,ned a truck, ‘,[‘1773. I w~driving the truck on 2$th May, 1992. I was driving it on the Diain~n I Be~ch W.\i~e ,tf driving on my way from the beach, as I approa..,hed tht’ DtaJn~nd Highway, It ‘ noticed a nexl truck was reversing on my lett r stopped. I SJl ,he driver fixing
I r ‘. Tl his mirror while reversing. lie reversed, straiybt into ‘my ;;-lie destroye~ ~hf ~ left side of the cab. ! can’t remember numbir of t~ truck. Thd drive” was fv1’. Stephen Brown •. I c;une 0″1 of the truck. 1′!POk~Jo ttl. ct.i~cr.! He said ~e’liid ‘
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not see me. H.t ~..\s fixJng his 4Dirror.. dasked him what he was g ~.·ng to’,do. He”
t • , I ‘ said he has to oall,the o~er. The owner was Mr. Tl.omas.” ,I’~P
In cxaminution-in-chicr thc scen! d Ikkndant slalcd as follm”‘s: ,
“About 10:15 a.m. that rnCfni,lg I was coming frotT· Arg~lc j~ t4~ direction of ! Kingstown. I was i~tending to go to Diamond, I dki not go to Ditl’I.\IllOnd Bpach because T1773 and my truck could not pass on the same road. Th. road w s iH .
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wide enough. J pu,lcd ~ut on the left sIde of the road. I ~torred ~cause b+h-(-.I’ .,r, .
us could not pa~·s. I wl~nt down twenty to twenty-tive yards Ii’om tJ egall. I never
reversed when I,got t) thai point. I was at a standsCll. After I sJh~ still J gave
him a chance to comt! out. I Wllited for1him to come out.-“Wh,n ~ looked in my
.I, , left side mirror I saw his front pass comi~g on the right side b~the rpad, tha~ ~s the r’
highway. In the meantime I there waiting. I received the lash; Whiie’ th~re
waiting he pulled on the right side lIld then. as he approached dte main road,
passed my left side coming to the right, a V1?iC~e ‘approached him. comIng irQ~.
the opposite direction. Hd pulled’back to get “away fro~ IthJ vehi~le and appli,d . l ‘
his brakes to stop. His two whec:ls locked add his truck came oJ me. Th”e ten 1
side of his front came into the right ofthe tail c}my truck.'” , ,.
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He further stated that1after the acc.d~nt he spoke ~Bernard Smiih and to~ him Jat the truck is not his and he has to get to the o~er. He denied’ tellin& B~m8frt Smith tIbt he was re’spon. ;ibl<; 1 ,
for the accident or that he was looking through his left mirror. . i ‘
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( found the Plaintiff to be a more credible witness than the sccond-nlmed IDef~ndant ~i I :lCCCP1,
the Plaintitl’s version of how lhe accidcnt occurred. ‘fhe Plaintiff /fave his evid~ncc in }Ii’an'”
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and convincing manner,’ The Defendant on the other hand did not appear c~.nvinci! g ildl I do n~t
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believe his version of the accideri •. The second Defendan s explanat”~tI ~f the Plaintiff pulli”g ,
back his vehicle to ~et away from an approaching vehicle, aPflyi.,~ ~jil ,rakes and his wheels”‘ ‘,’ locking thus causing!the accident, I consider to b~ evidcr,nce of eonv~I’\f ct· It beinga ,tpr of’ convenience for him to place a third vehicle at the scene. I I”” .’
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11· ‘. ,. ‘.1 The reaction ofthetwo drive;s imm~diately fOllowidp’tJ:te a~cident gives ~o*e cred~nce,to tht}’ ,I
l version of the Plairltiff. The P(ai~~iff deposed 10 hav~ng come out of the. cle and rpeakin~ to 1 the second-named Deirn:ant, ‘rho saicl that h~ I id not see th~ Plaintiff, he ; as, fi’fing .~e·mirror.· J The Plaintiff testified to tsking’ him what was he going to (.0, to, which he jSl.f.idl he h~ td1call the
The second Defendant testified to ~oking to the Plaintiff·a~er ~e acc;d~t. He SlateO that ilie truck was not his and he has to get to the owner. Bearing iI. Jl1ind that n damage ras done to
the Defendant’s truck, his ‘i~atqment is, to say, the least, puzzling .. This . .’k not th\,staemen\,i
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would expect from someone v’ho had nothing to do Jith the (lccidclll. 01 t)1c hther ham!. why
would the Plaintiff ask the second Defendant what was he going to ~o if he. the sec:lI1d. Defendant, had nothing to do with the ,.ccident. ~gain taking into accoltlt \he fa;.’ \I)at ~lere \lIS no damage done to the Defendant’s truck.
Some of his evidence in cross-examination Luther convinces me as to where liabili,ty lies, I k
‘:( .. “The conductor was making noise with me, I told him iSI not my ~ruck I h~ve 10
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get the owner,” I”
“I could not accept liability because the truck i~ not mine.” ‘. It-‘ ;0
. : ~ .. ~ I conclude that the second-named Defendant wal responsible-fo; the acciaent as te negligently
reversed his vehicle onto the Phil\1in’s yehicle. the damag¢ don· to the Plaintiffs vehlclc is link
in my opinion. inconsistent with that liability.
The Plaintiff has led sufficient evidence in proof ofspecial damage afld I accent that ev;Jcnce, ‘f “
The first-named DetenJaJ1l stated lhal lhe damaged cab hud some value’. Ill’ plu..:eDefendant also stated that it would be better to replace the cab thai tp.r1pair it, and $5,000.00 is, . reasonable for the ca~. It r
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I enter judgment for the Plai~tiff M1d order that the;Oefel’!~ant~ pa): th~ Plaintiff t1~ surf; or’ .,I $7,750.00 in damages with costs to be taxed jfnot agreed, It is also orderekI that the P,laintilTpay to the first-named’ Defendant tq¢ sum of $1}500.00, the value of th~ damage~ cah. Thel ” Defendant therefore is, to, pay tbe Plain4iff $(l,2sb.00, ~
.9K””~_:t~~”” .1 Davi(~son Kel in Baptis e -, f HighCourt Ju ge (J.g.) • I
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