March 2, 2021

Cayman: Two fire officers to sue government over incident on Cayman Brac

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Fire truck overturns Cayman Brac Jan 5 2017

After it was revealed that an accident involving a fire truck overturning was due to a rusty bolt, the two fire officers, Jason Phelan McCoy and Garfield Marcelo Ritch who were injured, have been given leave to sue.

The incident happened on 5th  Jan. 2017 at he Charles Kirkconnell International Airport on Cayman Brac.

Both men were stationed there and whilst on the runway the truck overturned with them inside. They suffered injuries and sought damages from the government.

However, when they gave notice they would be filing a claim stating they had, due to the government’s negligence, “suffered personal injury, loss and damage”, immediately attorneys for the government said the claim had no prospect for success. They pointed out that under Section 9, subsection 5(b), of the Fire Brigade Act, it prevents a fire officer from suing the Crown.

The injured officers fired back saying the governments interpretation of the clause was wrong. It does not protect government from litigation when it has itself provided faulty equipment to the officers, and they get injured from it.

Grand Court Judge Margaret Ramsay-Hale, after receiving the government’s claim for dismissal, ruled “The claim cannot be said to have ‘no prospects of success’ in the circumstances.”

This has now given the two officers leave to proceed with their lawsuit.

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