Insurance company wouldn’t pay, neither

Grand Court hears compensation appeal

Renato Jimenez pleaded guilty in
Summary Court to driving under the influence of alcohol and careless driving. That
was in June 2008, when Magistrate Nova Hall sentenced him to a fine and driving
disqualification. She also ordered him to pay $3,000 compensation to the owner
of the car he damaged.

Jimenez appealed the compensation
order and Justice Algernon Smith heard the matter last week. Jimenez was
offering to pay $750.

Jason Edwards told the court his
Toyota was parked in his yard when Jimenez drove through a ficus hedge and into
the side of his car.  He said Jimenez’s
insurance company told him to put the Toyota on a wrecker and take it to
garages to get repair estimates. One was for $4,755, the other for $5,199.
However, when the insurance company found out about Jimenez’s DUI charge, they
said they were not responsible.

Jimenez, who came to court with a
friend to interpret for him, said he did not agree with the compensation
amount. He produced a document said to be from the insurance company examiner;
it said the pre-accident value of the Toyota was $1,600 to $1,800.

“Why didn’t they hoist it up and
check?” Mr. Edwards asked. He explained that the main damage occurred when the
impact bent the front wheel and pushed the axle into the gear box, which then
burst open and all the oil leaked out. He said the paint and interior of the
car looked the way they did because he had used it for racing every Saturday at
Breakers Speedway and was just about to put it back on the road.

Crown Counsel Kenneth Ferguson did
not accept the document Jimenez produced. It was not accompanied by an
affidavit, Mr. Edwards had not seen it before, and it had not been shown to the
magistrate.

“Perhaps it would have been better
to send the matter back to the magistrate,” Justice Smith commented. In an
effort to resolve the matter, he suggested $2,000.

Mr. Edwards replied, “OK, but it
would be very lenient.”

Jimenez replied, “How about
$1,500?” He said he didn’t have any work right now and will be rolled over at
the end of 2010.

Mr. Edwards pointed out, “If he
leaves, I won’t get paid.”

Mr. Ferguson pointed out the order
was from over two years ago — Jimenez should have been saving something.

Jimenez said, “If I can’t pay, I
give you my pension plan.”

That was not
acceptable. The judge then asked if the interpreter would sign as surety. Told
yes, he ordered the $2,000 to be paid by 12 November, 2010, or else the surety
will have to pay.

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