The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) has to pay $2.2 million in compensation to a Princes Town couple whose home was destroyed by a leaking pipeline.
This after WASA lost its appeal before the Privy Council on Thursday.
In a written judgment, the five-member Privy Council board ruled, “This second appeal has been brought without heeding the settled practice of the Board that it will not, save in special circumstances, review concurrent findings of fact made by two lower courts. It is an appeal which should not have been brought, as it was bound to fail.”
Darwin and Kamalar Sahadath sued WASA for negligence, claiming that its failure to repair a leaking pipe between 2012 and 2014 caused a landslip and led to their four-storey home on Iere Village Branch Road slipping down a 20 feet slope and sinking 12 feet.
The eventually became unfit for occupancy and was damaged beyond repair.
WASA, however, denied that a leak from its pipeline had caused the landslide.
In the judgment, Lord Legatt stated that the Authority advanced no positive case and adduced no evidence to suggest that the landslide had any other cause. He noted that in his judgment, the trial judge, Justice Vasheist Kokaram, made clearly reasoned findings that the damage to the road, land slippage and consequent damage to the claimants’ home were caused by a leak or leaks from the pipeline for which the Authority was responsible and which it failed to repair in a proper or timely manner.
The judge awarded damages based on the cost of rebuilding the claimants’ house, along with other consequential losses, in a total sum of $2,218,954 (plus interest).