Belize Telecommunications Limited, BTL, and Curtis Swasey are back in court, this time at the Court of Appeal. Both parties, it appears, are not satisfied with the quantum that Justice Courtney Abel awarded Swasey at the Supreme Court in February of 2016. For context, back in 2016 Curtis Swasey filed a law suit against BTL and its co-defendant, Mek Mi Rich, MMR Production, for violating intellectual property rights and breaching a confidentiality agreement between BTL and Swasey. This was over an idea Swasey claims he had for a lottery texting game show. In 2012 he signed an agreement with BTL and even provided IT services to the company with the understanding that he would be part of the business. The show however was launched in 2014 without Swasey after BTL partnered with MMR Productions, whose directors at the time were Andre Vega, son of former Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, and Andre Vega’s business partner, Sanjay Hotchandani. Swasey then sued for damages for BTL’s breach of the agreement. On February 23, 2016, Justice Abel ruled that, because Swasey was unable to quantify how much damage he had suffered, he would be awarded twenty five thousand dollars in damages. Now, BTL and Swasey, in the absence of MMR Productions, are appealing the ruling. Attorney representing Curtis Swasey, Kareem Musa explained after appearing at the Court of Appeal today for the case management conference.
“There are actually three appeals which have been consolidated for the court of appeal. The first of course comes from my client Mr. Curtis Swasey who feels that the damages that were awarded to him of twenty five thousand dollars was not sufficient and therefore he is appealing the quantum and it is hoped that at the court of appeal level he will get a higher award in damages for the breach of confidence because as you would recall this was an instance where BTL, and the allegation is by Mr. Swasey that BTL and MMR Belize Limited partnered together to use his ideas and in fact breached his confidence so this is a claim that stems from that. Interestingly enough though MMR Belize Limited who my client was accusing of using his idea has not appealed so it is questionable why BTL even followed through with this appeal in the first place. But I think it has to do with the fact that they are the ones who ended up having to pay the twenty-five thousand dollars. They are not satisfied with the Supreme Court decision, they do not feel that this is Mr. Swasey’s idea; the lottery texting is not Mr. Swasey’s idea and so they are not satisfied with the judgment handed down by the Honorable Justice Abel and therefore they’re appealing.”
The case will be heard in October this year.