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Jun 24, 2016

Mek Mi Rich Litigants Return to Court

On February twenty-third, Justice Courtney Abel ruled that B.T.L. and Mek Mi Rich, MMR, colluded to steal the concept for the game-show from Curtis Swasey. It was a landmark ruling and a major black-eye for B.T.L.  Mek Mi Rich, with directors Andre Vega and Sanjay Hotchandani had closed its doors when the lawsuit was first brought by Swasey and even now the game show is still off the air. The ruling by the Judge was clear, as was his award of twenty-five thousand in compensation to Swasey. But where the quantum of costs was concerned, counsels for the defendants argued vehemently. That was in February, and this morning, they were still arguing as to how costs would be assessed. Attorney for Swasey, Kareem Musa, told us that he and his client are frustrated by what is clearly just an attempt to drag this matter out.

 

Kareem Musa, Attorney for Curtis Swasey

“We keep hearing time and time again that this is the people’s company, B.T.L. – it’s the people’s company. We always hear it that they nationalized B.T.L. for the benefit of the Belizean people. But look at this Belizean man here, Curtis Swasey. They keep dragging him through the Courts. This is an abuse of process. The Court made an order in February of this year that the coasts were to be assessed. This morning we had to rehash the same old arguments that we had in February of this year because the defendants want a different method applied to award costs. But the Judge had already made an order that it be assessed. And so that is the difficulty that we had today, basically going through this again and now we have to come back in July for the same thing again.”

 

Kareem Musa

Reporter

“For those of us who might not understand, explain to us the difference between assessment of cost and prescribed cost.”

 

Kareem Musa

“Well the reason that the Judge gave on the last occasion why he elected to go by way of an assessment is because of the novelty of this case, because of the weight and because of the complexity of this case. He believed that we should submit a bill of costs itemizing the amount of time and the amount of effort that we dedicated to this case. It was an extremely bulky case and it took a lot of time and a lot of research. It is the first of its kind in Belize because it was a breach of confidence, not a very common cause of action in Belize, and so the Judge actually realized that and thus he ordered the assessment.”

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