Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 1st 2015 Contents A5
Saturday, August 1, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
INTRODUCING THE HONDA OEM*
$1.00 Per Litre/CNG
* ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURER.
3 YEARS HONDA WARRANTY
TEST DRIVE ONE TODAY!
Port of Spain: 624-3714 • 625-2277
San Fernando: 657-2277 (CARS)
Chaguanas: 672-0991 • 671-3913
Tobago 639-2277 (CARS)
A group of 16 farmers squatting on 100 acres
of prime real estate land at Chaguaramas have
lost their bid for an injunction stopping the
Chaguaramas Development Authority (CDA) from
seizing the land for use in its ongoing development
plans for the north western peninsula.
In a 21-page decision delivered in the Port-of-
Spain High Court yesterday, Justice Frank Seepersad
said that the group, calling themselves the Guave
Road Farmers Association, failed to convince the
court that it had a strong enough case over the
ownership of the land to justify the granting of the
"The deficiencies as outlined do not augur well
for the claimants and creates the unfortunate sus-
picion in the mind of the court that some of the
instant claimants may have instituted their respective
claims so as to facilitate and justify a land grab,"
While the CDA gave an undertaking to stop work
on the site while Seepersad was considering the
case, his decision yesterday gives it the green light
for the organisation to immediately pick up where
it left off.
Stating that the farmers had to prove they were
in uninterrupted possession of the land for a lengthy
period to dispossess the CDA s title to it, Seepersad
noted that records from both sides showed that
there were different batches of farmers cultivating
the land at various periods.
Noting that 60 farmers were using the land in
1996, Seepersad said: "No evidence has been
advanced so as to provide an explanation as to how
and why the number of occupiers as at 1996
decreased so dramatically."
Seepersad also criticised the group for only bring-
ing the lawsuit earlier this year when the CDA began
clearing the land off Tucker Valley Road, which it
plans to use to widen the road and build carpark
"The court, is of the view that the claimants
delay in bringing this action has been significant
and resulted in a circumstance where the defendant s
execution of costly and substantial work upon por-
tions of the subject parcels of lands was unchallenged
for a significant period," Seepersad said.
Seepersad also explained that the court was reluc-
tant to stop Government projects which used State
land to help diversify the nation s economy.
"The subject parcels of land are pristine valuable
lands and if the development of same is executed
in a fair, honest, competitive and transparent manner
then the eventual outcome may resound to the col-
lective benefit of all citizens," Seepersad said.
The T&T Guardian attempted to interview the
group of farmers after their defeat, however, they
refused to speak to reporters who they accused of
siding with the CDA in previous reports on the
The farmers were represented by Colvin Blaize
and Farai Masaisai. Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes
and Michael Quamina appeared for the CDA.
A date of hearing for the farmers substantive
claim is yet to be set and will likely be done when
the law term reopens in September. (DA)
out Guave Road
A 65-year-old lab former technician at
a fertilizer plant in Point Lisas, who con-
tracted two forms of cancer due to pro-
longed exposure to toxic chemicals, has
won a $1 million in compensation from
his former employer.
Robert Daisley, of Couva, received the
significant payout yesterday---almost ten
years after he retired from Yara (Trinidad)
Ltd, formerly Federation Chemicals Ltd
(Fedchem)---as High Court Judge Devindra
Rampersad ruled that the company was
required to pay the money to compensate
him for the pain and suffering he had to
endure since being diagnosed by the serious
The lawsuit appears to set a new prece-
dent as it was the first time in T&T s history
that an employee was successful in a neg-
ligence claim over medical issues which
arose in the workplace but remained dor-
mant until after retirement.
The company had attempted to have the
case thrown out at a preliminary stage as
it fell outside the four year limitation period
for bringing civil claims as Daisley was only
diagnosed and obtained legal representation
years after he retired.
This argument was rejected by Rampersad
who said: "The claimant was not in a posi-
tion to be fixed with the knowledge of his
cancer until his diagnosis in May 2008 and,
therefore, this case was filed within the
Speaking with reporters after the judg-
ment was handed down by Rampersad,
Daisley said he knew his illnesses were relat-
ed to his work in the petro-chemical indus-
try as soon as he was diagnosed.
"It has been a very long, hard, trying
process. As soon as I got the diagnosis I
reflected on the chemicals I interacted with
in the workplace---formaldehyde, benzene,
arsenic, asbestos and others and knew that
was the cause," Daisley said.
While he said he was happy to score the
legal victory Daisley, a father of 11, said the
compensation awarded was too low.
"The sum that I get is not really com-
pensatory. Right now I may look like a
cancer survivor but the after effects of the
radiation and chemotherapy has me in a
different world. I am walking down the road
and drifting without direction," Daisley said.
Anand Ramlogan, SC, who lead Daisley s
legal team, also expressed satisfaction with
the decision as he claimed that it would
assist other workers who contracted serious
illnesses in work, that only presented them-
selves after retirement. He also called upon
company s to put measures and procedures
in place to shield their workers from dangers
in the workplace both tangible and intan-
"I think this is a red letter day for the
energy sector and petro-chemical sector in
T&T. There needs to be an urgent review
of procedures designed to treat with workers
safety because occupational safety is just
not about harnesses and falling off ladders.
"Many workers in the energy sector who
suffer respiratory failure and other illnesses
as a result of exposure over a prolonged
period of time to harmful toxic chemicals
and noxious fumes may now be entitled to
sue if their health problems can be attributed
to such exposure," Ramlogan said.
According to the evidence in the case,
Daisley began working with the company
in 1972 and retired in 2006. Two years after
retirement Daisley was diagnosed by prostate
cancer and Nasopharyngeal Cancer, a rare
form of the disease which affects the nasal
passage, throat and oesophagus.
Daisley was also represented by Gerald
Ramdeen, Kent Samlal, Abdel Mohammed
and Varun Debideen. Gregory Pantin and
Debra Thompson appeared for the company.
Toxic chemicals to blame for employee's cancer
$1m compensation for
former lab technician
store, in Port-of-
Spain, pose in
Day which will
today. From left
Links Archive July 31st 2015 August 2nd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page