Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter
POPULAR DEEJAY Vybz Kartel, who is facing two murder charges, has been ordered by the Supreme Court to pay $15 million in damages to Jamaican promoter Alton Salmon for his failure to perform at a concert in the Turks and Caicos Islands in August 2009.
Salmon, who promotes his business under Abuka Entertainment, said because Kartel breached the contract, he suffered significant losses.
He said some of the tickets were presold and there was a riot at the venue on August 14, 2009, when people turned up and found out that Kartel was not going to perform.
After the suit was filed in the Supreme Court, the defendant Kartel, whose real name is Adidja Palmer, was served on December 23, 2009 with the court documents in relation to the suit.
Artiste Failed to defend suit
Kartel failed to file acknowledgement of service or made any attempt to defend the suit.
A default judgment was entered against Kartel and the matter set for assessment of damages.
Supreme Court judge Martin Gayle heard evidence yesterday and assessed damages which totalled $15 million with interest.
For loss of profit Salmon was awarded US$127,736 at the exchange rate of J$89.15 to US$1.00.
Salmon, who was represented by attorney-at-law Romona Nelson, said his reputation was damaged and for loss of reputation, he was awarded J$100,000 with interest at three per cent from December 23 to the date of payment. Salmon was awarded US$32,263 for special damages.
The agreement was an oral one and Salmon said on July 15, 2009, it was agreed that he would pay Kartel US$18,000 to perform at the show. It was also agreed that he would purchase airline tickets and provide hotel accommodation for Kartel and his entourage.
Salmon said he paid Kartel a deposit of US$8,500 and the balance was to be paid at the end of the show. Salmon said he honoured the agreement but Kartel breached the accord.