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School CP - April 2005

Corpun file 16162

Trinidad Express, Port of Spain, 27 April 2005

$40,000 for licks from principal

By Keino Swamber
South Bureau

A former pupil of the Vessigny Government Secondary School, who received ten strokes on his buttocks from his principal nine years ago, was yesterday awarded $40,000 by a High Court Judge.

Keave Davis, through his mother, Brenda Johnson, sued the State after he received the licks.

The State conceded the matter yesterday before Justice Gregory Smith in the Second Civil Court , Port of Spain.

In the writ filed by attorney Martha St Hillaire-Noel and advocated by attorney Sunil Gopaul-Gosine, the mother and son claimed that Davis suffered several injuries as a result of the beating, including severe and distressing pain in the right leg.

The writ stated that Davis's right leg was flexed at the hips and was unable to straighten as there was swelling of the thigh and generalised tenderness. Medical evidence also showed that Davis suffered a haematoma (blood clot) in the muscular compartment of the right thigh due to bleeding.

Davis, who was 15 at the time of the incident on November 8, 1996, had to be placed on a wheelchair as a result of being unable to walk, and was in hospital for a week.

The writ said the principal was informed that Davis suffered from a severe heart condition which caused him to have a double valve replacement surgery done in 1992 and, as a result, should not be administered blows or suffer trauma.

The principal was also informed that Davis could not have taken part in any physical contact sport and that bruising and bleeding should be avoided.

Davis and his mother, who now both live in the United Kingdom, sued for the recovery of medical expenses amounting to $6,276, damages for negligence by the principal, interest, legal costs and such further and other reliefs as the court saw fit.

Justice Smith ordered the State to pay costs and interest at a rate of six per cent a year from October 17, 1997, to yesterday's date. This is in addition to the $40,000 awarded.

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