I WRITE this letter in response to your story, Pain But No Gain, highlighting Michelle Babb’s court order for compensation, published on January 15, 2016.
The story is not a rarity as we have grown familiar with many of these cases over a long period of time. I usually read these cases with a heavy heart, but Michelle’s story was so heavy that it forced me to express my feelings here.
Legal clarifications and amendments to a judgement compensating an injured person should never take so long.
This practice, that has become endemic to the working class, is a very serious indictment on the justice system and should be examined and addressed expeditiously.
The pedestrian and paralysed haste in which these matters are settled makes the “simple matter” comment of going back to the court and getting an amendment to the judgement very unfortunate, disturbing and even callous.
Why should a casualty or victim of an illegal act suffer for so many years after a judgement was made?
When she goes back to the courts will there be a cost? If so, who will pay, the victim? Who pays for the cost of a colossal mistake if there is one?
What compensation will the victim receive for nearly two decades of suffering, both physical and mental, aggravated by the deprivation of her claim ordered by the court?
These circumstance that have forced her to lead a substandard life caused by the loss of income, already depleted by the imposition of medical bills in an effort to find relief from pain, suffering and squalor.
Would the interest of four per cent for default payment be calculated from 2009, the date of the judgment, to whenever the money is paid?
It would be interesting if we could find out how long it takes and how much is paid on average for claims towards expenses, luxury assets and valuables.
We know there is a difference when dealing with personal injuries but it would be enlightening if we, the public, could be informed, since we are led to believe that things, wealth, are more important than life people’s health and basic needs for survival.
“Justice delayed is justice denied.” This is what we, the layman, constantly hear from our legal luminaries in many of their arguments. Please tell us, luminaries, whether delayed compensation is also “an injustice?”
Soon we shall be celebrating 50 years of independence and our Father of Independence said to us one night: “If you want justice, stay out of the law courts.”
Michelle’s story is the ideal template for the law of injustice and she is not alone. I will leave you with a little advice: “The law is an ass,” stubborn and stupid, and some stables are maintained by lazy, incompetent, dishonest grooms. Finally, was it New India that offered $15 000 settlement?
– VINCENT SIMMONS