Court awards businesswoman $10 million after Transport Authority seizes vehicle
The Government-owned Transport Authority has been ordered by the Supreme Court to pay $10 million with interest to a businesswoman who had to rent a motor vehicle for four years because its agents seized her motor car and refused to return it.
Justice Kirk Anderson made the award after hearing evidence from Amy Hyacinth Bogle that on February 15, 2011, she was sitting in her 1989 Mark II motor car on Waltham Park Road, Kingston 11, speaking to someone when a motor vehicle belonging to the Transport Authority crashed into the front of her motor car while it was stationary.
Lloyd Bowen, a Transport Authority inspector, was driving the motor vehicle, and shortly after the accident, a wrecker came and took away Bogle's car.
Bogle said Pauline Saunders, a Transport Authority inspector who was travelling with Bowen, came out of the motor vehicle and gave her a warning notice.
She said she was subse-quently served with summonses to attend the Traffic Court to answer to charges of operating a motor vehicle without having a road licence and not having public-passenger insurance.
She was advised to go to the office of the Transport Authority to make arrangements to get back her motor car, but she went there many times and no one could give her any information about the vehicle.
INJURED IN ACCIDENT
Bogle was injured during the accident and had to seek medical attention.
She said the police did not investigate the accident because her motor car was taken away immediately after the incident.
She went to the Traffic Court on April 24, 2012, and following submissions by attorney-at-law Garth Lyttle, the charges were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.
Lyttle wrote demand letters to the Transport Authority for the return of Bogle's motor car but got no favourable response.
Bogle had to rent a motor vehicle for four years to transport goods to her business place.
She filed a negligence suit in 2012, seeking damages for loss of use of her motor vehicle and for pain and suffering.
The defendants - the Transport Authority, Bowen, and Saunders - were represented by lawyers from the Attorney General's Department.
They claimed the accident was caused by Bogle, who negligently drove into their motor vehicle, which was stationary. They accused Bogle of driving at an excessive speed and failing to keep a proper lookout.
They accused Bogle of picking up passengers and said she was signalled to stop by a policeman, but she drove off and collided into the parked motor vehicle.
Lyttle argued that judgment should be awarded in favour of Bogle. He asked the judge to find that the defendants were negligent and pointed out that Bogle had denied the case put forward by the defendants.
Anderson awarded Bogle $10 million for loss of use of her motor car and $400,000 for the value of her motor car.
She was also awarded special damages totalling $442,000, of which $350,000 was for pain and suffering.