CALYPSONIAN Franz “Delamo” Lambkin suffered a second defeat at the Court of Appeal on Friday in his appeal involving a judge’s dismissing his lawsuit against a furniture and appliance store for defamation of character.
On Friday, Justices of Appeal Mira Dean-Armorer, Vasheist Kokaram and Malcolm Holdip dismissed Lambkin’s appeal of Justice Frank Seepersad’s ruling in October 2018.
In addition to the $14,000 he was ordered to pay the store for its legal costs for defending the claim, Lambkin was ordered on Friday to pay two-thirds of that for his unsuccessful appeal.
Lambkin had filed the lawsuit against Fen Mohammed Stores Ltd, claiming that his name was placed in a newspaper advertisement in April 2014 as one of its customers who was not fulfilling his obligations to make monthly payments on two items on hire purchase.
Lambkin maintained he was not a party to the transaction between the store and his son. However, in its defence, the store’s owner, Fen Mohammed, maintained a request was made for credit to be extended to Lambkin’s son Shawn, and a credit bill was prepared on the condition that the father was part of the transaction.
In his ruling, Seepersad accepted Mohammed’s evidence and that of his employees, as well as documentary evidence provided at the trial.
He said the court had found there was justification to publish the advertisement, and the claim for damages for liable was devoid of merit and could not succeed.
In its ruling, the Appeal Court held it could only interfere with a judge’s finding of fact after hearing “live evidence,” and it was rare for an appellate court to overturn this.
Kokaram, who delivered the oral decision, said the Appeal Court was unable to “interrogate” some of the physical documents, some of which were ineligible because of the passage of time.
He said the case for both sides at trial was simple and the trial judge was “not wrong in his findings” and could not be faulted for his assessment of the evidence, as well as the testimony of the store’s witnesses.
“In our view, he performed the exercise required of him…
The appellant has failed to demonstrate the judge was wrong.”
Seepersad had also dismissed the store’s counterclaim for the remaining balance on the credit account, since it was statute-barred, as it was filed outside the four-year limit for filing such actions.
Lambkin was represented by attorney Samuel Saunders. Fen Mohammed Stores Ltd was represented by attorney Anthony Manwah at the appeal.