Mechanic fails to convince Privy Council to hear his appeal

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

– File photo

Yet again, a mechanic seeking compensation from a fireman and his insurance company for injuries to his eyes in an accident in 2017 has had his case dismissed.

Lutchman Ramcharan’s final hope of appealing the local court’s dismissal of his case at the Privy Council was dashed when Lords Briggs, Sales and Hamblen ruled on his special-leave application.

The three law lords refused to grant permission to appeal because the case was about concurrent findings of fact; had no special circumstances to justify its being heard by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council; nor was there a right of appeal in this case.

The Privy Council has repeatedly held that it will only in exceptional cases entertain appeals against concurrent findings of fact made by the courts below.

In 2018, Justice David Harris dismissed Ramcharan’s lawsuit, and the Court of Appeal did the same in November 2023.

Ramcharan was a passenger in Vijay Mohan’s vehicle on January 27, 2017, when it was hit by another vehicle on the Toco main road at about 8 pm.

The rear-view mirror on the driver’s side shattered and shards of glass lodged in Ramcharan’s face.

He claimed Mohan was driving too fast and too close to the middle of the road. Neither Ramcharan, his witness nor Mohan could remember if there was a white line, but the fireman said he tried to take evasive action to avoid the oncoming vehicle that veered into his path.

Mohan said he was in the centre of his lane and was blinded by the lights of the oncoming vehicle. He said to avoid a crash, he swerved to his extreme left.

The other vehicle hit his wing mirror but did not stop.

In dismissing Ramcharan’s lawsuit, Harris said while there was a duty of care towards Ramcharan as a passenger in Mohan’s vehicle, the evidence did not prove that he breached that duty.

Harris also said Ramcharan’s evidence was bereft of detail and failed to prove Mohan was liable for his injuries.

In dismissing Ramcharan’s appeal, the Court of Appeal affirmed Harris’s findings of fact. In dismissing his application for special leave, the Privy Council also ordered Ramcharan to pay Mohan’s and the insurance company’s costs.

Ramcharan was represented by attorney Yaseen Ahmed. Michael Rooplal represented Mohan and his insurer, Bankers Insurance Company Ltd.