Couple fight for compensation over damaged property

Sue and Paul Williams had been ready to retire to the Cayman Islands when a container with their car inside was dropped at the Cargo Distribution Centre.

A British couple who say they suffered thousands of dollars in losses when a shipping container carrying their car and possessions was dropped in Cayman are still battling for compensation.

More than a year after the incident at the Cargo Distribution Centre, Paul Williams says he and his wife Sue have received no apology and no reasonable offer of compensation for the damage.

Mr. Williams said the attorney general’s chambers in Cayman had emailed a letter offering an “ex gratia payment” of $5,000 to cover damages to the couple’s Range Rover.

But he said he had rejected this offer as “insulting.” He said it did not even cover the amount he had paid in customs duty to ship his property to the Cayman Islands. The Range Rover alone would cost $47,000 to replace, he claimed, though it was not a new vehicle.

He has applied for a rebate for the duty costs and says he is seeking an offer of around $150,000 in total, including the damages to the property, storage and further shipping costs as a result of the incident and the inconvenience caused. He said he was consulting a lawyer with a view to bringing legal proceedings later this month if a more reasonable offer is not made.

The couple have deferred their plans to retire in Cayman and have been left feeling bitter over what they see as the failure of authorities on the island to deal with the matter fairly.

The couple moved to Grand Cayman in 2016 and shipped a container from the U.K. carrying their Range Rover, two self-assembled Lambretta scooters and 41 boxes of belongings to the island. When they arrived at the Cargo Distribution Centre to collect the container, they say they were told, “We’ve just dropped it.”

The windscreen of their Range Rover was cracked, the wheel rims were bent and the engine was damaged beyond repair, according to Mr. Williams.

The Port Authority did not respond to requests for comment on the accident at the time or subsequently, but has denied responsibility or liability for the damage in emails seen by the Compass. Other correspondence suggests government disputes the Williams’ assessment of the financial impact of the accident.

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