AN employee of a food distributor based in central Trinidad has sued the company after he was allegedly beaten on the instruction of a senior employee after being accused of stealing cases of frozen goat meat.
The 46-year-old driver said apart from hauling containers for the company, he also trucked aggregate from a quarry in Valencia for one of the company’s directors on weekends.
The claim said on March 30, 2019, he was tasked with hauling aggregate and on his return to the warehouse, he asked to speak to the director about a complaint he had received from a co-worker that a businessman had complained that the driver tried to sell him several cases of frozen goat meat.
His claim said while he was waiting to speak to the director, a car pulled up and a man walked up to the director. The driver was allegedly told to go to the lunchroom at the back of the warehouse, where he met with a manager.
The claim said the driver was accused of stealing cases of frozen goat meat, and the man who earlier arrived in the car sat opposite him while he was again accused of stealing.
The claim said the man who arrived in the car was instructed to “organise, you know what you have to do,” and the man unbuckled his belt and began hitting the driver on his upper back, shoulder and head.
He was also held down on the table and in all, received about 50 lashes before he stopped counting, as the pain was ‘unbearable and his back became numb with the licks,” the claim said.
“The claimant did not retaliate because he feared for his life, especially as he did not know if the man was armed with a firearm. The claimant was savagely beaten for about ten to 15 minutes.
“As a result of the attack, the claimant suffered severe injuries and was fearful to report back to work. The claimant who remained unemployed for two months before finding another job suffered loss and damage and says the defendant is liable for special damages.”
The claim also said throughout the alleged ordeal, the driver maintained his innocence.
In addition to damages and aggravated damages for the alleged beating and false imprisonment, he is also asking for loss of earnings for eight weeks at $400 a day for four days a week, as well as $300 for his glasses.
The claim said he reported the attack to the police and also went to the health centre for treatment. His claim also contains photographs of the injuries he said he received because of the beating, which included welt marks.
The claim, filed by attorneys Darryl Heeralal and Nerisa Bala, said the actions of the company’s servants were premeditated and designed to cause their client injury.
In a response to the pre-action protocol letter from the driver’s attorneys, the company denied the attack took place.