According to a judgment delivered on March 21, 2023, local businessman Stephenson Tomlinson is claiming that just over CI$127k (plus interest) is owed to him by Shyam Ebanks in connection with a Promissory Note dated July 31, 2018 (“the Promissory Note”).
The judgment recorded that Tomlinson “reiterated his belief that there is no defence to his claim on the Promissory Note and asked the court to refuse to grant the Defendant an extension of time to file his defence to the claim.”
However, it was noted in the judgment that, in an affidavit by Ebanks in opposition, he said that “he has a real prospect of success in defending the claim” by Tomlinson for several reasons.
a) Contrary to the allegations made in the statement of claim, the Plaintiff did not advance all the funds directly to me, nor at the time alleged, pursuant to the promissory note dated 31 July 2018.
b) Some of the funds alleged to have been lent to me under the Promissory Note were actually paid by the Plaintiff directly to a certain contractor for the renovation of an office space for the mutual benefit of
i. Tomlinson Printing Limited t/a PrintTek,(“PrintTek”) and
ii. NCI Freight & Logistics Limited. (“NCI”);
?) The Promissory Note does not reflect a subsequent agreed amendment of the sums due to apportion those costs between PrintTek and NCI;
d) The calculations of interest set out in the statement of claim are incorrect;
e) In hindsight, I believe that I was improperly pressured into entering into the Promissory Note due to my personal financial circumstances arising from the Plaintiffs refusal to fund PrintTek as originally contemplated, and
f) The Plaintiff is unable to recover his full legal fees of recovery action under the Promissory Note.
In response to the foregoing, the judge said: “The defendant shall have leave to defend. The defendant shall file his defence within 7 days of today’s date. As a condition of the grant of such leave, the defendant shall pay into court the amount equivalent to 67.74% of the amount now due under the Promissory Note with interest, at February 07 2023. The sum to be paid into court is CI$82,138.57.”
The judge continued: “As a further condition upon which leave to defend is being granted, the court will assume a figure that is 75% of the “reasonable attorney’s fees” now claimed by the Plaintiff, (as at February 07 2023) in order to set this further condition.”
The judge concluded: “The reasonable attorney’s fees stand at CI$44,502.05. The assumed figure is therefore CI$33,376,54. The defendant will pay into court a sum equivalent to 67.74% of the assumed reasonable attorney’s fees. The sum to be paid into court is C1$22,495.78.”