The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the state-owned Marketing & National Importing Board (MNIB), Ruel Edwards has won close to EC$70, 000.00 in a libel suit brought against St Patrick landowner and farmer, Dennis Canning.
Canning had failed to put in a defence in the court matter which arose from statements he allegedly made on a local radio station about Edwards in connection with a probe launched into the state entity by the Integrity Commission, headed by attorney-at-law, Anande Trotman-Joseph.
Canning reportedly told that Edwards could have asked him for a money instead of taking out court proceedings against him for the statement which bordered on the financial status of the Marketing Board from which the CEO was removed and transferred to a senior position in a government ministry.
The former MNIB boss retained former Attorney General, Cajeton Hood to represent him in the lawsuit.
A female Master of the high court in a ruling handed down on January 24, 2022 ordered Canning to pay Edwards the sum of $50, 000.00 in General damages, together with an uplift of 20% for aggravated damages in the total sum of $60,000.00.
The Master also gave a ruling for Interest to be paid on the judgment at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of the service of the claim (November 20, 2020) to January 24, 2020 (430 days) calculated in the sum of $4,241.10.
In addition, she also mandated that Edwards be paid 60% of his prescribed costs on the total value of the awards made ($64,241.10) quantified in the sum of $5,781.70.
Following are the details of the ruling delivered by the Master:-