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Gov't to appeal $59m award to Tivoli resident blinded by bullet

Published:Monday | July 27, 2015 | 6:31 PM

The Government is challenging a $59 million award granted to Tivoli Gardens resident, Latoya Brown, who lost her sight after being shot and injured during a police-military operation in 2001.

The Attorney General also wants the Court of Appeal to overturn the Supreme Court ruling in Brown’s favour.

He is contending that the award is too high and that the medical evidence did not substantiate injuries of such severity to attract such a high award of general damages.

The appellant is also contending that Supreme Court judge Evon Brown erred when he found the government negligent.

Brown had said members of the security forces breached their duty of care for her among other things.

In handing down his ruling in May, Justice Brown accepted that the bullet which struck Brown was fired by a member of the security forces, but rejected her claim that it was intentional.

In the negligence suit filed against the Government, Brown said she lost sight in her eyes instantly after being shot in the head near the intersection of North and Regent streets on the morning of July 9, 2001.

She said the shooting occurred moments after she decided to return home having encountered a group of soldiers and police personnel.

Initially, she told police investigators she did not see who shot her, but insisted in court that it was a member of the security forces.

The shooting occurred during a lull in nearly three days of fierce gunfight between thugs and members of the security forces.

At the end of the shooting, 27 civilians were killed.

A commission of enquiry later exonerated members of the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force who participated in the operations.