Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Court grants petition to wind up JUTC operations if it fails to pay woman $3.5m

Published:Tuesday | March 21, 2017 | 3:24 AM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

The Supreme Court has granted a petition to wind up the operations of the state-owned Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) if it fails to pay off a $3.5 million debt to a St Catherine woman by the end of June.

The money was awarded to Daniella Manning by a High Court judge last April arising from a suit she filed against the JUTC.

The company did not contest the suit and was given a payment plan by Justice Chester Stamp who presided over the claim of negligence.

Under the plan, the JUTC was to pay Manning  $1 million by the end of April last year, another $1 million by July 31 last year, a further $1 million by the end of October last year and the remaining  $500,000 by the end of January this year.

In their petition, which was heard in the Supreme Court last week, lawyers for Manning reported that on October 11 last year the JUTC was served with a statutory demand for payment to be made within 21 days.

"The said statutory demand also warned that should the said debt not be paid over within 21 days then your petitioner would petition this honourable court for the Jamaica Urban Transit Company to be wound up," read a section of the petition obtained by The Gleaner.

Manning's attorney noted, however, that despite acknowledging receipt of the statutory demand, the state-owned bus company has failed and or refused to make any payment.

"Your petitioner does verily believe that the debtor company is insolvent and unable to pay its debt as the instant debt of JA$3,500,000.00 owed to the petitioner remains wholly unsatisfied," Manning's lawyers wrote.

When the petition was heard in the Supreme Court last Thursday, the JUTC was given another payment plan.

Under the new plan, the JUTC has been ordered to make payments of $1 million and $500,000 between March 17 and May 31 and $550,000 by June 30.

"Unless the orders at paragraphs one to four are complied with, this petition is granted and the defendant shall be wound up," ordered Justice Evon Brown, who heard the petition.

This morning, the JUTC's communications director Reginald Allen could not immediately say whether the process has now started for  the payment of the debt, but promised to investigate and report to The Gleaner.