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Boyea, Williams reach settlement with Flour Mill


Approximately 12 years after they were dismissed from the East Caribbean Flour Mill Ltd (ECFML) in controversial circumstances, Ormiston ‘Ken’ Boyea and his former co-worker Hudson Williams, have reached a settlement with the company.{{more}}

All parties in the matter have remained tight lipped on the nature of the settlement.

On Friday 15th May, 2009, the parties informed High Court Judge Gertel Thom, that they had reached an out of court settlement, and requested the judge to make a formal order.

Both Stanley ‘Stalky’ John, one of laywers who represented Boyea and Williams, and Osmond Davy, CEO of the ECFML, told SEARCHLIGHT when contacted that the parties involved had reached a “strictly confidential agreement”.

The saga started when Boyea as Managing Director of ECFML in 1997, and Williams as company secretary and financial comptroller, received letters dated June 5th stating that they were dismissed from ECFML.

On June 19th, 1997, both men commenced a lawsuit claiming damages for wrongful dismissal from their jobs.

Exactly five months later, ECFML filed defences and counterclaims to the actions.

ECFML in Suit No. 211/1997 counterclaimed against Boyea the sum of EC$30,653,270, while in Suit No.212 of 1997 counterclaimed against Williams the sum of EC$28,278,084.

According to court documents, on December 12th, 1997, Boyea and Williams, respectively filed reply and defense to the counterclaims in the lawsuit. In each such pleading, Boyea and Williams, respectively, denied ECFML’s entitlement to the sums claimed by way of counterclaims in the said actions.

After almost a decade of legal wranglings, on June 10, 2006, the hearing commenced in the High Court at Kingstown before Madam Justice Gertel Thom. Shortly after Boyea and Williams’ lawyer Dr.J.S Archibald QC had concluded the opening of his clients’ case, the lawyer for the ECFML advised that the company no longer sought to pursue several of the charges leveled at the men.

The counterclaim against Boyea was reduced by EC$21,984,863, while that abandoned against Williams was EC$21,343,599.

It came as no surprise that with Boyea only having to face an existing claim of EC$8,668,407, and Williams a claim of EC$6,989, 249, a settlement was reached in the matter. (HN)