Ricardo Pellington (by next friend Karen Pellington) v Cecil Bowen

JurisdictionJamaica
CourtSupreme Court
JudgeSykes J (Ag)
Judgment Date18 July 2002
Judgment citation (vLex)[2002] 7 JJC 1801
Date18 July 2002
Docket NumberSUIT NO. C.L. 2001/P 036

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE OF JAMAICA

IN COMMON LAW

SUIT NO. C.L. 2001/P 036
BETWEEM
RICARDO PELLINGTON (BY NEXT FRIEND KAREN PELLINGTON)
PLAINTIFF
AND
CECIL BOWEN
DEFENDANT

DAMAGES - Motor bus/Pedestrian - Pain and suffering - Loss of amenities - Special damages

Sykes J (Ag)
1

On Friday January 28, 2000 young Ricardo and his family including his mother were walking along Windward Road in the parish of Kingston. They were beckoned across the road by the driver of a coaster bus that had stopped at the pedestrian crossing. While crossing the road the bus was struck from behind by a truck owned and driven by the defendant. The bus was catapulted into Ricardo's left side.

2

He fell to the ground and seemed to have been either disoriented or unconscious. He was taken initially to the Kingston Public Hospital and then transferred to the Bustmante Hospital for Children.

3

He stayed at the hospital for one week. He felt pain in his left side. After his release from hospital he was at home for three months. While at home he was unable to carry out his household chores because of the pain in his side. He was not able to participate in either cricket or football games with his friends.

4

He says that he is now fully recovered from his ordeal and does not have any side effects from the injuries he received.

5

His mother who also testified, corroborated - his evidence concerning the accident and post discharge recovery.

6

She says that during the week that he was hospitalised she travelled twice per day to the hospital from her home to see her son. She even stayed over night. Her presence quite "likely" contributed to Ricardo's well being and aided his recovery. She did not go to work during his hospitalisation. Each trip cost $600.00. This amounts to $1,200.00 per day. She made six trips to the hospital.

7

After his release from hospital she took him back thrice and each time she had to pay a registration fee of $150.00.

MEDICAL EVIDENCE

8

A medical report dated September 20, 2000 was prepared by Dr. Colin Abel of the Deparment of Surgery at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. The report has the following:

  • i) tenderness over left side of chest and abdomen;

  • ii) fracture of 6 th , 7 th and 9 th rib on left side with a haemothorax on the same side;

  • iii) contusion of the left lung;

  • iv) approximate 10% disability.

9

It is not clear what this "approximate 10% disability" means. The plaintiff says he is fully recovered. His mother says he is fully recovered. The term is not explained in the - report. Counsel was not able to assist me with the meaning of the phrase. The plaintiff and his mother do not mention any kind of disability. I therefore do not take it into account. This highlights the danger of the current practice of tendering medical reports under the provisions of the Evidence Act. If very technical terms are used or some diagnosis or prognosis is made that is not properly explained then the court may not be able to give it the consideration that is required.

10

The doctor said that when Ricardo was seen on May 11, 2000 he was showing signs of good recovery.

11

The prognosis was good and so it has turned out to be.

SPECIAL DAMAGES

12

The plaintiff claims the following as special damages:

a...

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