Evan Smith who was set upon by a white family after his vehicle struck their dog in Fort Jeudy last week Thursday is now seeking monetary damages for the wounds inflicted upon him.
THE NEW TODAY has obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the Registry of the Supreme Court on Smith’s behalf by attorney-at-law Derick Sylvester.
The court papers also include medical reports from Dr. Kester Dragon and Dr. Justin La Rose on the condition of the 44-year old victim from the St. George North-east constituency.
The lawsuit was filed against father Dolan Kavanagh who is said to be from Ireland, his female companion Sarah Hatton of England, and children Ted Kavanagh and Robart Kavanagh.
All four have been accused of beating the physically challenged Smith on the head, face and other parts of the body.
The court action stemmed from an incident in which the local black man reportedly struck a dog owned by the family that had run across his vehicle on the public road in Fort Jeudy.
The white family members are said to be living in Egmont but reportedly came into Fort Jeudy where they are allegedly building a new home.
Smith drove his vehicle into the area to drop off workers on his construction site.
The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) on Sunday charged the father and his female companion with the criminal offence of Harm for the wounds inflicted on the local black man.
The civil lawsuit is asking a high court judge to set a monetary figure in the form of compensation for Smith for the beating he received at the hands of the white family members and which sent shock waves throughout the country.
The Evan Smith incident sparked of protest action on the island last Saturday as Grenadians staged a protest march from Fort Jeudy demanding justice from the police for the badly beaten local man.
Fearing that the protest could get out of hand, Acting Commissioner of Police, Edvin Martin appealed for calm and announced that the police were investigating the matter with a view to bringing the appropriate charges against the culprits.
THE NEW TODAY reproduces in full the Statement of Claim filed by attorney Sylvester seeking monetary damages for Smith:
STATEMENT OF CLAIM
- The Claimant, Evan Alford Smith, of Constantine in the parish of Saint George in the State of Grenada is forty- four (44) years of age having been born on the 28th day of December, 1975 .
- The Claimant, together with his wife, Nicole Smith, operates a small business “Reliable Building Maintenance which business is concerned with the maintenance/servicing of buildings including the provision of painting and reroofing services.
- The First Defendant is a businessman and entrepreneur and resides at Egmont in the parish aforesaid. He is the owner and operator of the ‘Sea Safety Service’, a local life raft sales/service station and safety equipment supplier which business is located in Clarkes Court Boatyard & Marina in the parish and State aforesaid .
- The Second Defendant is the wife and/or partner of the First Defendant and resides at Egmont aforesaid. The Second Defendant operates the ‘Sea Safety Service’ business with the First Defendant.
- The Third and Fourth Defendants are minors and the children of the First and Second Defendant. They reside with the First and Second Defendants at Egmont aforesaid.
- On or about Thursday 25th June, 2020 at about 8:30a.m. the Claimant was driving his Nissan Navara Pick- up truck bearing registration number TG111 (afterward “the said vehicle”) along the Fort Jeudy Main Road in the parish aforesaid. At that time, the Claimant was transporting his workmen from St. George ‘ s to Fort Jeudy where the Claimant ‘ s small business is engaged in construction work.
- Upon arriving at the job site, the Claimant was alerted by one of his workers that the said vehicle had struck a stray dog which was in the said main road. The Claimant was not aware of this.
- Within 10 minutes of being notified that the said vehicle had allegedly struck a dog, the Claimant observed a motor vehicle driven by the First Defendant·.(afterward “the other vehicle”) approaching his job site . The First Defendant exited the other vehicle and demanded from the Claimant the identity of the owner of the said vehicle·. The First Defendant indicated that he had the police called and that they were on their way to Fort Jeudy.
- After a brief exchange between the parties, the First Defendant left, where after the Claimant and his workman, Glenroy Aberdeen attempted to leave Fort Jeudy for another job site and proceeded to drive along the Sunset View Street.
While doing so, the Claimant noticed all four (4) Defendants in the middle of the street and the First Defendant signaling for the Claimant to stop his vehicle. The Claimant stopped his vehicle.
Trespass to chattel
10. The First Defendant approached the said vehicle and directed the Claimant that he was not permitted to leave where he was.
11. Without the Claimant’s consent whether implied or express, the First Defendant reached into the said vehicle through the open window and removed the Claimant ‘ s keys from the ignition and walked away with them .
12. The actions of the First Defendant in removing and taking possession of the Claimant’s keys which are his personal property, constitutes a trespass to chattel.
The Assault and Battery
13. The Claimant attempted to exit the said vehicle through the driver’s door when suddenly the First Defendant slammed the door unto the Claimant ‘ s chest striking him in his face and chest. With the violent impact, the claimant’ s body was propelled backwards onto the said vehicle and his head struck the said vehicle. The Claimant immediately experienced dizziness and felt pain in his head, face, mouth, and chest.
The Claimant tasted blood in his mouth, signaling to him that his mouth had been cut.
- At all material times the Claimant was completely defenseless because of muscular dystrophy in respect of which he had been diagnosed several years earlier and struggled to regain his footing.
- While the Claimant attempted to right himself, the Second Defendant exited the ‘other vehicle ‘ together with the Third and Fourth Defendants and menacingly approached the Claimant.
The Second Defendant punched the Claimant repeatedly in his face, chest and head while he remained pinned between the door and the said vehicle.
- The Third and Fourth Defendants thereafter joined with the Claimant in punching, striking, and slapping the Claimant about his upper body.
- The Claimant felt nauseated and his vision became blurred and remained that way for a few hours after the incident.
- Due to the Claimant ‘ s pre- existing illness above, the Claimant feared for his safety and for his life but was unable to retaliate. He however, managed to drag himself back into the said vehicle.
- Throughout the time that the Defendants beat the Claimant, they referred to him as being retarded; and stupid; and used obscenities and other derogatory phrases about him.
- At all material times the Claimant felt intense pain in his body and emotional anguish, him being unable to defend himself by reason of his physical condition. The Claimant felt himself to be less than a man, having been beaten in the presence of his employee and by the Defendants, including 2 minors.
- The unprovoked and harmful behaviour of the Defendants constitute an assault and battery on the Claimant.
- The Police arrived shortly thereafter and provided the Claimant with a medical form which the Claimant took to a private medical practitioner who examined him and signed said form. The Claimant was advised that he would have to file a private criminal matter against the Defendants. A copy of the medical form is annexed hereto and marked “ES1”.
- As a result of the above assault and battery, the Claimant suffered personal injury, loss, and damage.
Particulars of Injury
i. Laceration to upper lip
ii.Deformity of the upper lip
iii. Facial contusion
iv. Multiple contusions to thorax, abdomen and limbs
v. Post – concussion syndrome with associated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
vi. Acute Stress Disorder (ASD)
- The Claimant ‘ s injuries above are detailed in the medical reports of Dr. Kester Dragon and Dr. Justin La Rose, and in the psychological assessment of Dr. Augustine Panchoo. These 24 reports and assessment are annexed hereto and marked “ES2”, “ES3” and “ES4” respectively.
Particulars of Special Damages
25. As a result of the Defendant’s assault and battery upon the Claimant and the injuries sustained thereby, the Claimant has been put to loss and expense as follows:
Copies of the invoices in respect of the above expenses are annexed hereto and individually marked as identified above.
- Since the incident above, the Claimant frequently breaks down in tears, has a loss of appetite and is of a withdrawn and melancholy disposition. He now has suicidal ideations and feels himself unable to take care of and defend his family; him not being able to defend himself against the Defendants.
- The Claimant has been significantly traumatized by the incident and is now a ‘ shell of him ‘.
- The Claimant continues to feel pain in his chest, mouth, arms and teeth and has difficulty in consuming food and hot drinks. He now experiences social anxiety and avoids leaving his house, him being very self- conscious about the deformity in his upper lip.
- At all material times it was obvious that the Claimant was physically incapacitated from his mere appearance and this was told to the Defendants by the Claimant’s workman who was present with the Claimant at the time of the incident. The Defendants’ actions, jointly and severally, were high handed and intended to hurt and belittle the Claimant by himself and in the presence of his workman and onlookers. At no time did the First and Second Defendant restrain the Third and Fourth Defendants, minors, from inflicting hurt and damage to the Claimant, but by their actions, encouraged their behaviour.
- The Claimant was left distressed and distraught after the incident and was unable to speak and visibly shaking. A copy of the News video report recorded immediately after the incident evidencing the above is hereto attached and marked “ES8”.
- The Defendants have never expressed any remorse for the injury and pain that they have caused to the Claimant and have not made any offer of compensation to him.
- The Claimant continues to suffer loss and damage.
AND THE CLAIMANT THEREFORE CLAIMS:
i. General Damages for personal injury, loss and damage including nervous shock and trespass to chattel.
ii. Special Damages tabulates as follows:
iii. Stamps on filing Claim $ 26.00
iv. Bailiff fees for personal service of the Claim $ 100.00
v. Fixed Cost of Claim $750.00
vi. Aggravating and Exemplary Damages.
vii. Interest at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the incident to judgment or such rate and for such period as the Court shall deem fit pursuant to Section 27 of the West Indies Associated States Supreme Court Act Cap 336 and amendment No.7 of 2009.
viii. Such further and/or other relief as this Honourable Court shall deem just.