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Appeal Court rules against DYC Fishing

Thursday, June 26, 2014    

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LOCAL firm DYC Fishing will now have to pay up US$1.7 million plus interest and US$129,867 in costs to Perla Del Caribe Inc, a company specialising in seafood products based in Florida USA.

DYC Fishing will have to pay over the money in light of a ruling by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday that upheld a December 2011 decision by the Supreme Court to enforce a ruling in a United States Court against DYC Fishing.

The US court had, in 2010, ordered DYC Fishing to pay the money, which is an award for damages in a business deal that turned sour over the distribution of conch, and other seafood, from a decade earlier.

Following the ruling in Florida, lawyers representing Perla Del Caribe won an enforcement order in the Supreme Court.

In appealing the matter, attorneys for DYC Fishing argued that the judgement should not be enforced as it was obtained by fraud and that the Miami court doesn't have jurisdiction over it.

The matter was heard by a panel of three judges in the Court of Appeal in July and judgement reserved until Tuesday when the court found that the Miami court had jurisdiction over DYC Fishing.

In relation to the argument of fraud, the court said: "It is a well-established rule that the court will not make an inquiry into the merits of the case where the judgement of the foreign court is final and conclusive save and except where fraud is raised.

"In raising the issue of fraud, it has not been shown that there is any new evidence which has been discovered which, with due diligence, could not have been raised in the foreign court. The evidence put forward by DYC as showing fraud consisted of mainly matters which were before the foreign court, and other matters of which DYC was fully aware at the material time which could have been placed before the foreign court.

"DYC has not demonstrated that the allegations of fraud raised could not have been, with reasonable diligence, placed before the foreign court. There are no circumstances arising in this case, which would have required [Justice Roy] Anderson to have held an inquiry into the allegations of fraud, as contended for by DYC. It is obvious that DYC seeks to re-litigate the action."

— Paul Henry

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