A long running insurance dispute could be settled this summer, after the Bailiff set tentative court dates so a financial settlement can be agreed between a former labourer and a local construction firm.
Channel Welders and its insurers are being represented by Mourant Ozanne, with Gordon Dawes telling the court on Friday that it is the level of financial settlement that the insurance firm is disputing and that problems could arise because the case is now so old, some of the expert witnesses who were first involved have since retired or are unwell.
The plaintiff, Andrzej Rutowicz, has not got any legal representation yet but the Batonnier appeared in court on Friday to help him where possible - but Advocate Sarah Brehaut made it clear she was not representing him. A translator was also in court to help Mr Rutowicz understand the proceedings.
Mr Rutowicz fell through a roof while working as a labourer for a sub-contractor through another company on a site Channel Welders was working on. Both sides accept there were injuries which have had a long lasting impact on Mr Rutowicz life, in particular a wrist injury which meant his work as a labourer was affected.
However, during the intervening years, the court heard Mr Rutowicz has had some other 'challenges' which have meant he has not been able to pursue the case to reach a financial settlement yet.
He is now asking for an amount of money as compensation for the pain suffered and loss of earnings, but the court heard that the amount he is claiming has not yet been confirmed.
The Bailiff adjourned the case until Friday 10 May and told Mr Rutowicz he must let the court know then if he is willing to accept the written medical evidence which is now more than ten years old, or if he wants new 'live evidence' to be presented - in which case he must explain how he will do that.
Mr Rutowicz must also outline how much money he is claiming. In the meantime, he had asked for a £20,000 interim payment so he can pursue his claim and continue living in the island while he does that. Advocate Dawes said his clients were willing to make a payment of £10k only - which was agreed by the court.
Pictured: Guernsey's court building.
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