Wilfred Elrington and Progresso Heights Limited were back in court today. As you will recall, Wilfred Elrington was a shareholder of Progresso Heights Limited owned by an American father and son, Lawrence and Adam Schneider. In a previous case, the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ, had ruled in Progresso Heights Limited favour by ordering the Registrar of Lands to re-produce sixteen land titles for Progresso Heights Limited that Elrington had lost. Meanwhile, the present case before the Court of Appeals surrounds the appointment of an inspector to investigate Progresso Heights Limited that never materialized. Elrington, the appellant was represented by Senior Counsel Fred Lumar while Progresso Heights Limited, the respondent, was represented by Attorney Priscilla Banner. After this morning’s hearing, Elrington spoke to the media about the case.
Wilfred Elrington – Appellant: “An application to the Court, for the court to appoint an inspector to go and investigate the affairs of the company. That really had a peculiar history because when it first came up for the hearing before Mr. Justice Segal it was the assumption of all of us really. It was agreed that that matter was settled by consent and that we would file an order in the court articulating that consent, indicating who the inspector would be. That is how it was left, in a strange way which I still can’t explain, maybe a year or two later, the same case again was set down for hearing and it was argued without any objection being made but a new judge because the old judge had left. A new judge came and the matter was set before her, I don’t know how it was set before her and I imagine given the pressure of time, I was involved in it myself, given the pressure of time or whatever it is we went ahead with the hearing without making any objection. I just don’t understand how it happened but these things happen so the dilemma before the court now is that there are two courts that dealt with it so the question is which one’s judgment is the valid one. I think that is the argument that was being raised today, that was the primary argument that is being raised today, although there are other arguments. The primary ones are the question of law where essentially a legal point which is the valid decision to consent judgment or this subsequent judgment of the last Judge who dealt with it so that is what is being debated before the court at this point in time. In the case of the first Judge our understanding was that it was settled that both parties agreed that an inspector would be appointed to investigate the company, the second judge decided that there was no basis upon which an inspector should be appointed and just dismissed the matter so that is what is being appealed.”
Elrington went on to explain what he hopes to gain by pursuing this matter especially since he is no longer a shareholder in the company.
Wilfred Elrington – Appellant: “My particular interest, in this case, is to have an independent inspector go in and to verify in fact that things are being done properly. This is a company that generated in a short while as much as eleven, twelve million dollars, there is a lot of money involved and there has been no proper accounting. All we are saying is let an independent person go in to do the accounting to see in fact whether the company has been operating properly and whether the shareholders have been treated in the way that they should be treated under the law. If you invest in a company and a company grosses eleven to twelve million dollars and there is no proper accounting for that, that is a serious matter and that is a matter of public interest, even private interest so that has got to be looked into. To ask the court to appoint an Inspector to go in and look into the matter to my mind cannot be more reasonable.”
The Court of Appeal has reserved judgement on the matter until a later date.///////