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Jun 13, 2018

Brenae’s Injury Compensation, Can the Quarter Million Dollar Award be Paid?

On Monday, Justice Sonya Young handed down a decision in favor of five-year-old Brenae Timmons.  As a toddler, she suffered severe brain injury when an iron gate fell on her while visiting with her father at the Lake Independence Library in January 2016.  In the wake of that most unfortunate incident, Brenae’s parents filed a civil suit against contractor Brian Espat and included the Pickstock Development Association in their claim.  One year and eight months later, the family has emerged victorious in the Supreme Court.  But will a settlement of a quarter million dollars, to aid in young Brenae’s continued rehabilitation, cripple the non-profit organization that remains a pillar in the Pickstock and Lake-I constituencies?  According to Area Representative Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, while the sum awarded in damages is not excessive, the association does not generate the kind of revenue to be able to compensate the Timmons family.

 

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, Area Representative, Pickstock

“Pickstock Development Association occupies the piece of land and we sought to, we have it under a lease from the Government of Belize.  One of the government agencies offered us a fence and the fence, the contract to build the fence was given to a man named Brian Espat.  Really we had nothing to do with it.  The fence, the gate on the fence was really huge and after he had hung the fence, kids started to play on the fence.  Now the parents of the baby, Brenae, the father works at the library there and that library was there even before we went there.  And on the evening in question, the mother took the baby to visit the father and seemingly while the mother and the father were inside the library, the child went outside where kids were playing on the gate and the gate fell and damaged the child.  So we really had no liability in the sense that we were not culpable in any way.  We didn’t know Mr. Brian Espat, we did not know how he came to get the contract.  We subsequently learned that he had had an obligation to purchase insurance, but he claimed that the insurance lapsed before the job was finished and therefore he was not in a position to compensate.  The child got very seriously injured and we did everything in our power to help the child.  We were right there at the hospital, we spoke with the doctors continuously.  As a matter of fact, we provided the television to stimulate the child because the child going through such a trauma, we thought it would be necessary to stimulate the child.  So we were there every day with the child.  Fortunately, the child recovered.  Miraculously too.  I imagine she will have some after effects from it and the sum awarded by the court did not seem to me to be inordinate.  The problem is that the Pickstock Development Association is a non-profit organization, we function with resources that are given to us and our only purpose is to try to improve the level of education for the children that are in the constituency and the neighboring constituencies.”

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