A former assistant Commissioner of Police has been awarded $154,800 in damages from the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) for breach of contract.
Judgement was granted in favour of Hugh Lovell by Justice Mira Dean-Armorer, last month. The judge also ordered the TRHA to pay Lovell’s legal costs in the prescribed sum of $32,220.
Lovell entered into a two-year contract with the TRHA to perform the duties of security services manager from August 2013.
On November 19, 2014, the TRHA terminated the contract and Lovell, who was represented by attorney Martin George, sued the authority.
According to the termination letter he received, Lovell was told that he failed to perform the assigned roles and responsibilities of security manager in a satisfactory manner.
Three incidents were referred to in the letter and the judge, in her decision, said there was no dispute that there occurred a number of security breaches in the months which preceded Lovell’s termination.
The first took place on June 2, 2014, when a patient allegedly attacked a nurse and a security guard of the Scarborough General Hospital; another took place on June 12, 2014, when a doctor was threatened by a relative of a patient who had died and on August 15, 2014, another took place when the Canaan Health centre had not been opened on time.
In his evidence, Lovell said he could not implement any of the proposals he put forward because he did not get approval for them. He also said he knew nothing about the June 2 incident since he was not in Tobago, and took steps to deal with the incident at the Canaan Health Centre, which the judge said proved that he dealt with it in a satisfactory manner.
Dean-Armorer also said the TRHA failed to provide evidence to show that his response was unsatisfactory.
“It follows that I am of the view that the defendant has failed to prove the allegation of unsatisfactory performance,” she held.
In assessing damages, she said because he was wrongfully dismissed, Lovell was deprived of eight months of employment, amounting to $154,800.