A 75-year-old man from Arouca, who was injured after being hit by a police vehicle while attempting to cross the Priority Bus Route (PBR) in 2016, is set to receive almost $200,000 in compensation from the State.
Steve Ryan-Turpin’s negligence trial against PC Matthew Pickering was scheduled to take place virtually yesterday, but Ryan-Turpin’s attorneys and those for the Office of the Solicitor General revealed they had come to a settlement when the case was called by Justice Frank Seepersad.
Under the terms of the settlement, the State agreed to pay Ryan-Turpin $120,000 in general damages for his injuries and $13,300 in special damages for his domestic, transport and medical expenses following the accident, plus interest.
The parties still called on Justice Seepersad to determine Ryan-Turpin’s claim for compensation for loss of earnings.
Testifying before Justice Seepersad, the retired Ministry of Works and Transport driver claimed that at the time of the accident on March 9, 2016, he was working part-time as a mechanic at his son’s garage.
He claimed he was walking from his Bon Air Gardens home to his son’s garage when he was hit by the vehicle driven by PC Pickering, who he suggested broke a red light.
Pickering, who was then assigned to the Firearm Intelligence and Interdiction Unit and is currently at the North Eastern Division’s Emergency Response Unit, claimed he did not see Ryan-Turpin, who he alleged was crossing behind a maxi taxi. Pickering, who stopped and took Ryan-Turpin to hospital for treatment, denied driving recklessly or negligently.
Ryan-Turpin, who had head injuries and a broken hand, spent two weeks in hospital and never returned to work with his son.
Justice Seepersad noted that Ryan-Turpin had a valid claim for loss of earnings, although his son Stevern could not provide any receipts of his payments to his father because State attorneys did not challenge his claim over his post-retirement work.
However, Justice Seepersad said in the absence of the records, Ryan-Turpin could not claim $250 for four hours of work per day, as his son admitted he currently earns $45 per hour as a mechanic after closing the garage.
While Ryan-Turpin was claiming loss of earnings from the date of the accident to when the case was settled yesterday, Justice Seepersad said he could only award for ten months, as his son closed the garage due to a lack of customers less than a year after the accident.
Justice Seepersad awarded $36,000 for loss of earnings and ordered the State to pay almost the same figure for Ryan-Turpin’s legal costs.
Ryan-Turpin was represented by Dipnarine Rampersad and Vishnu Bridgemohan, while Rachel Jacob and Kezia Redhead represented the State.