CUC, US manufacturer fail to settle faulty equipment lawsuit

The Caribbean Utilities Company headquarters at Sparkys Drive, George Town.

A conference was scheduled to take place on Aug. 13 in the United States for the Caribbean Utilities Company and the U.S.-based manufacturer Howard Industries Inc. to reach a settlement over CUC’s claims that the company sold it defective electrical equipment, costing Cayman’s power provider “millions of dollars” in damages.

However, no settlement was reached, and the dispute looks to be heading to a trial, according to filings with the U.S. Southern District Court of Mississippi.

The court’s docket states that “the parties did not reach a settlement” during the Aug. 13 conference. The latest filings is from Howard Industries, which asked the court for an extension of time to designate expert witnesses for the dispute. The trial is scheduled for June 3, 2019, but the court has encouraged the parties to reach a settlement before then.

According to court documents, CUC alleges that it purchased numerous stainless-steel distribution transformers for its operations from the Mississippi-based Howard Industries Inc. between 2000 and 2016.

However, the transformers and/or their component parts were defective and eventually failed, CUC claims.

“Such defects were latent, and it took time for the latent defects to manifest,” CUC states in its claim, which was filed last November.

CUC is seeking refunds for all its costs and damages, which it claims to be in the millions of dollars.

In a response filed in January, Howard Industries denies the allegations of wrongdoing against it, including the allegations that the transformers were defective.

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