Collusion in JUTC accident claims?
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
The transport minister Mike Henry is alleging that people are colluding to make accident claims against the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC).
"We are aware that there is a ring that operates too," Henry said in Parliament last week.
was later told by government sources that many claims submitted to the JUTC are trumped up. One government official said lawyers, doctors and police are part of the ring which seeks to benefit from insurance pay-outs from the JUTC.
However, Paul Abrahams, managing director of the JUTC , who admitted to hearing about the illicit scheme, said he has found no such evidence.
Meanwhile, in relation to the mountain of accident claims against the JUTC, Abrahams told
that of the 749 claims received in 2007, the JUTC has received documentation for 136.
Eighty-two were settled in the amount of $9.3 million. He said claimants were seeking $73 million to settle the remaining claims.
For 2008, Abrahams said the JUTC settled 92 cases out of 234 claims submitted at a cost of $14 million. Another 610 accidents remained unsettled as no one came forward with claims against the company.
Last year, the JUTC settled 110 cases for a total of $31 million. The company said it received claims for 112 accidents.
"There are 476 cases in which persons have made claims against the JUTC. These cases are on- going. They are in court. Arrange-ments have been made to settle some of them and negotiations are ongoing. I don't think any lawyers suing us in the last year or so can say that the JUTC has been delinquent in dealing with claims. None of them can come forth, and if they do it, I will accost them to refute directly," Abrahams said.