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Dougan taking government to court over property damage

Dougan taking government to court over property damage


by Audwin Andrews

Following a three-year battle with the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) government concerning the road leading to his home, former Attorney General Carlyle Dougan QC says he now plans to take legal action for damage to his home at Ribishi.{{more}}

According to Dougan, since 2008, his five-acre property in the East St George constituency has sustained over $100,000 worth of water damage.

SEARCHLIGHT visited the home of the former St Vincent and the Grenadines High Commissioner to the United Kingdom on Friday, February 16.

During the visit, Dougan explained that he has been residing at the

EC$3.4 million estate since 1996. He said in late 2008, when the government began housing development in the Harmony Hall area, the road leading to his property began deteriorating.

“When they began the project in that area, the trucks had to pass this area and after continuous movements on the road by these heavy vehicles, the road leading to my home became damaged and dysfunctional,” Dougan said.

He said as a result of the daily passage of heavy vehicles, the drain along the road leading to his home was destroyed.

“Now when it rains, the water from the road flows directly on to my property, causing extensive damage.

“It’s like a river running through my yard. I’ve even had to rebuild a retaining wall that fell on my neighbour’s house last year.

“To rebuild that wall cost EC$20,000, and added to that, I’ve had to do major repairs to other parts of my property,” the former AG under the Sir James Mitchell administration stated.

During the visit, Dougan pointed out the different areas of damage to his property and said he feels as though “the ULP government has ruined him.”

“Come on, for so long I have been reporting this matter, I’ve even sent letters voicing my concerns about what’s happening. The area representative visited me some years ago and until this time nothing has been done.

“I give credit where credit is due, but one bad apple spoils the entire basket and now I will have to take the matter to the court. I hate the idea of taking people to court, but they leave me no choice,” the 72-year-old lawyer said.

He disclosed that a claim form will be issued against the government soon by the law firm Elizabeth Chambers, headed by Stanley “Stalkey” John.

“I regret this, but I have no other option.”

Dougan further stated that he is more disturbed about the lack of concern displayed by the government in relation to the situation.

The former representative for East Kingstown says he is of the opinion that no attention has been given to his plea because he is a supporter and former Member of Parliament for the New Democratic Party.

“They are all the same… they don’t care about the people, particularly those who are on the other side…

“I’m done with politics. When I turned 70, I decided I was done with that, but though I retired, I am still a member of the NDP…”

Several of his neighbours have also experienced damage to their property, he said, but not as extensive as what he has experienced.

Dougan’s also claims that his tennis court, swimming pool and the second floor of his two-storey home have all been damaged as a result of the “vicious flowing of water from rainfall.”

“I am not asking for much, I just want for them to fix the problem that I have been complaining about for the past four years, but nothing has been done….

“It’s time for me to now make it a legal matter, because I have tried the diplomatic way and it didn’t work,” Dougan stated.