CAC loses decade-old law­suit

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - Tameka Gor­don Busi­ness Re­porter tameka.gor­don@glean­erjm.com

THE SUPREME Court has or­dered air-con­di­tion­ing firm CAC 2000 Lim­ited to pay dam­ages that equate to more than $55 mil­lion, plus in­ter­est, to XRay and Di­ag­nos­tic Ul­tra­sound Con­sul­tants.

CAC 2000 said in a mar­ket fil­ing that judg­ment in the decade-old law­suit handed down Oc­to­ber 21, 2016 in favour XRay and Di­ag­nos­tic, re­lated to a fire in 2003 which de­stroyed equip­ment that CAC was en­gaged to ser­vice. The fire also dam­aged X-Ray and Di­ag­nos­tic’s premises.

Dam­ages of US$372,100 and $568,186.64 plus loss of prof­its amount­ing to more than $7 mil­lion were awarded to X-Ray and Di­ag­nos­tics, with in­ter­est charged at com­mer­cial rates.

The air con­di­tion­ing firm has how­ever sought a 42-day stay as its at­tor­neys re­view the judg­ment.

CAC in­sur­ance will cover a por­tion of the dam­ages.

“Our in­sur­ance with BCIC cov­ers us up to $20 mil­lion. Any­thing over that, we will have to pay,” CEO and chair­man of CAC, Steve Marston told Gleaner Busi­ness. The rest will be re­flected in the com­pany’s 2016 ac­counts, ac­cord­ing to the mar­ket dis­clo­sure.

Al­though Marston con­ceded the judg­ment “is a lit­tle big­ger than we an­tic­i­pated,” he said the com­pany had enough re­sources to cover the rest.

“It will af­fect us – it is a big num­ber – and it will set us back tem­po­rar­ily, but the busi­ness will con­tinue,” he said. “We had put down the money just in case so we have to tighten our belt and just con­tinue.”

The judge­ment fol­lows a re­trial or­dered in 2013 after Supreme Court judge Roy Jones awarded X-Ray and Di­ag­nos­tics just over $74 mil­lion, rep­re­sent­ing the re­place­ment costs of equip­ment dam­aged in the fire and con­se­quen­tial loss of prof­its.

The re­trial or­dered by the Court of Ap­peal was held last De­cem­ber, with sub­mis­sions made in Jan­uary.

X-Ray and Di­ag­nos­tics, which op­er­ates from Ripon Road in New Kingston, con­tracted CAC to pro­vide equip­ment main­te­nance ser­vices for X-Ray and Di­ag­nos­tic’s air con­di­tion­ing units that were pur­chased from CAC.

On May 11, 2003, com­bustible ma­te­rial within the fan coil of the air con­di­tion­ing unit ig­nited and started a fire which de­stroyed a sec­tion of the X-ray com­pany’s premises, as well as sev­eral pieces of equip­ment it said were es­sen­tial to its busi­ness.

Steven Marston, CEO of CAC 2000 Lim­ited.

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