NASSAU, BAHAMAS – A seafood supplier yesterday withdrew his bid to obtain more than $3 million in damages from Scotiabank after reaching an agreement with the lender mid-way through a Privy Council appeal.
Jerome Forbes and North Andros Seafood, along with R&R Holding Investment Co. Ltd., sued Scotiabank after the lender froze his personal and business accounts in August 2008.
Forbes had been awarded $89,072.46 by a Supreme Court judge, though he contended for damages in the amount of $3,139,780.50.
The award of the lesser sum was upheld by the Court of Appeal and Forbes took his case to the Privy Council in London.
According to Legal news service Law360, Forbes dropped his appeal over the calculation of damages owed following recent talks with the lender, although specifics of the arrangement have not been disclosed.
A synopsis of the case was released on the Privy Council’s website.
It noted: “The Appellants operated a fishing business through bank accounts maintained with the respondent. The respondent froze the Appellants’ business bank accounts, interrupting their fishing business for four years.
“The appellants commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court of the Bahamas in respect of the loss and damage suffered as a result of the respondent freezing their accounts. The parties reached a settlement on the issue of liability and the quantum of the majority of the appellants’ heads of damage.”
It added: “The final head of damage, the appellants’ claim for loss of revenue and profits, proceeded to an assessment of damages before the Supreme Court of the Bahamas.”
Both sides had produced competing expert accounting evidence and the Supreme Court ultimately accepted the evidence of the bank’s expert, assessing the appellants’ loss of revenue and profit in the amount of $89,072.46.
“The appellants, having contended for damages in the amount of $3,139,780.50, appealed this assessment to the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas, arguing that the assessed damages were inordinately low and that the lower court had not had regard to how the respondent’s expert evidence had been undermined on cross-examination,” the synopsis read.
“The Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s assessment of the damages due to the Appellants. The Appellants now appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.”