Popular small businessman Jerome “Stew Man” De Roche is not giving up on the EC$540, 000.00 issue with the state-operated Grenada National Lottery Authority (GNLA).
Stew Man has decided to go to the Privy Council in London to try and reverse a recent Court of Appeal decision to deny him of his alleged Lotto money which he claims that he is entitled to collect.
On November 21, a 3-member panel of Court of Appeal Justices overturned the decision of High Court judge, Agnes Actie to award “Stew Man”, in a matter brought against the National Lotteries Authority, the sum of $540,000.00 plus interest for breach of contract.
The local High Court decision, handed down on July 30th, 2021, concerned the November 6th, 2016 Super 6 jackpot draw for which “Stew Man” claims to have purchased the winning ticket.
THE NEW TODAY understands that on Wednesday, Attorney-at-Law Ruggles Ferguson of Ciboney Chambers who represented “Stew Man” in both the High Court and Court of Appeal matters filed a motion seeking conditional leave of the Appeal Court to appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which is Grenada’s highest court.
Ferguson is said to be determined to ensure that De Roche has the opportunity to have his case reviewed, and hopefully reversed, by Grenada’s highest court given the significant sum involved and the principles of law involved in the case.
The attorney is contending that the Court of Appeal erred in law in arriving at its decision to overturn the local High Court Judge.
In an earlier interview with THE NEW TODAY, Attorney Ferguson said that the Justices of Appeal ruled against De Roche on the grounds that certain aspects of the evidence that the judge took into consideration in arriving at her ruling “was basically not part of his original case.”
“It was in his Witness statement but it was not pleaded as part of his original claim. That is what it comes down to”, he said.
“The points that they (Lottery Authority and its lawyer Leslie Haynes, KC of Barbados) raised in the Court of Appeal, they never raised those points in the high court so they didn’t object to nothing but when they go to Appeal now they raised these points,” he added.
According to Ferguson, the Lotto and its legal team had enough time to raise the objection as the Witness Statement was filed 18 months before the trial and not once did the defendants object to it.
He pointed out that never once did GNLA and Haynes, KC “cross-examined him (Stew Man) or challenged the evidence (but) the judge ruled against them now and they go to the Court of Appeal and argued that the Case pleaded originally by (De Roche) in his Witness Statement did not reflect additional stuff which he did not pleaded.
“Of course the strong ground (in the Appeal before the Privy Council) is that you’re supposed to raise these things as soon as they arise or at least cross examine him. So it’s kind of unique from that standpoint and therefore we’re looking at what the further possibilities are,” he said.
In his statement of claim filed on October 12, 2018, De Roche told the high court that on November 3, 2017 he purchased a Super 6 Lotto ticket from an agent of the National Lotteries Authority at Parris Pharmacy in Grenville, St Andrew for a draw on the same date but the draw instead took place on the following day and the winning prize of $540,000.00 was announced.
Stew Man said he visited the Lotteries Authority’s outlet in St. George’s and recognised that the numbers drawn for the Saturday draw were the exact numbers he had played and presented his ticket but was informed by the Lotteries Authority’s agent that the Friday ticket was invalid as the draw was cancelled.
Upon further enquiries, De Roche said he discovered that the information given by the agent was misleading, but by then he had lost his ticket.
He then contacted the Lotteries Authority through its manager who informed him that it would not be able to consider his claim without producing the winning ticket before the expiration of three months.
Closer to expiration of the three-month period, De Roche returned to the Lotteries Authority to again claim his prize money but they refused to pay him the winning sum of $540,000.00.
The Lotteries Authority in its defence filed on November 12, 2018 denied that it is in breach of contract.
It advanced the argument that the lottery ticket is a bearer instrument and constitutes the only proof of a bet and the terms of the contract are endorsed at the back of the lottery ticket.