Vertical Aviation LLC, the Irish company that leased a helicopter to Kamla Persad-Bissessar during her tenure as Prime Minister, is seeking close to US$13 million in compensation from the Trinidad and Tobago government for breach of contract.
This breach involves a helicopter ordered under the Persad-Bissessar regime in 2014 through the National Helicopter Services Limited (NHSL).
Vertical Aviation had originally filed the lawsuit in 2018, but the case was voluntarily dismissed without prejudice after the parties (Vertical Aviation and Government of T&T) reached a settlement in 2019.
According to an Express report, the Settlement Agreement provided that Vertical Aviation would refile its lawsuit if the defendant (T&T government) failed to comply with the settlement terms.
Well, on Monday, the lawsuit came up for hearing in the New York Southern District Court before Justice Mary Kay Vyskocil.
The helicopter—a Sikorsky S-76—is well-known globally for its work in VIP transportation and utility work.
The Persad-Bissessar-led government leased the helicopter in 2015 at a cost of US$120,000 a month.
It should be noted that the helicopter never made its way to TT as it could not be certified.
The lawsuit names the Government of T&T and then national security minister, Gary Griffith