Patterson wins Windsor Village case at Privy Council

Case may changes centuries old English law

The Privy Council awarded Caymanian Alastair Paterson substantial damages on 13 June after a groundbreaking departure from English law, which has stood for over 300 years.

The victory marks the end of a legal saga that began seven years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.

“The Privy Council decision not only completely vindicates Mr. Paterson, who saw his reputation gravely damaged by the legal action brought against him originally by Cayman General Insurance Ltd – now Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Limited, but also, in a groundbreaking departure from Law that has stood for over 300 years, the Privy Council decided that Mr. Patterson could be awarded damages for loss caused by malicious prosecution.”

The were no provisions in the Law to do so in civil matters previously on the basis that there had to be finality to such matters.

However, in the judgement, the Privy Council said justice should supersede finality in cases where malicious prosecution could be proven.

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In 2006, Sagicor sued Mr. Paterson and Hurlstone Construction who were both employed to assist in the rebuilding of Windsor Village after Hurricane Ivan. Sagicor alleged that Mr. Paterson and the Hursltones had attempted to defraud the company.

The court found that the wrongful allegations  caused “massive damage to Mr. Paterson’s reputation and to the willingness third parties to employ him”.

In 2008, just days before the trial of its claim, Sagicor abandoned it.  At the time the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands said, “From the faiure of these plaintiffs to prosecute their case, I infer that they have never been in possession of a body of evidence capable of establishing conspiracy.

As a result of the judgement Mr. Paterson will receive approximately $1.3 million dollars from Sagicor.

Please read more about this story in upcoming editions of the Caymanian Compass….

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