Parris et Al v Browne

JudgeHusbands, J.,Chase, J.
Judgment Date14 June 1991
CourtDivisional Court (Barbados)
Docket NumberNo. 29 of 1990
Date14 June 1991

Divisional Court

Husbands, J.; Chase, J.

No. 29 of 1990

Parris et al

Mr. Mark Goodridge for the appellant

Mr. C.W.P. Chenery for the respondent

Evidence - Vehicle collision — Judgment — Appeal Magistrate's decision giving judgment for plaintiff/respondent — Appeal — Ground argued decision against weight of the evidence — Evidence reviewed — Incumbent on magistrate to make finding on the area of damage to car as reflected by the documentary evidence and a finding on a certain aspect of the evidence of a witness so as to decide issue in cause of collision — In the absence of such findings decision is against the weight of evidence — Appeal allowed — Decision reversed — judgment entered for appellants.


This is an appeal from the decision of a magistrate for District “A” giving judgment for the respondent/plaintiff in the sum of $1,032.63 with costs of $250.


The grounds of appeal are:

  • (1) that the decision is against the weight of evidence;

  • (2) that a procedural error was committed during the hearing of the matter;

  • (3) that the decision is erroneous in point of law;

  • (4) that some other specific error not hereinbefore mentioned and substantially affecting the merits of the case has been committed in the course of the proceedings in this case.


At the hearing of the appeal before this court, counsel for the appellant, Mr. Goodridge, elected to restrict his arguments to ground 1 of the grounds of appeal.


The respondent/plaintiff in his evidence before the magistrate stated that on March 9, 1984, he was driving his motor car MA 558 along Two Mile Hill, St. Michael, in the direction of the City. It was about 7.30 a. m. He was on his left and proper side. A motor car was in front of him and a red motor lorry P. 303 was to his rear.


While going down hill some distance from Ilaro Court, the driver in front of him signalled and stopped. He looked in his mirror and extended his right hand and signalled that he was slowing down to stop. He then felt something strike his car from the rear forcing it forward in the direction of the parked car in front of him. He swerved to the right to avoid colliding with the rear of the car and then to the left in front of the parked car. He got out of the car and observed it was the lorry that had struck him. His car was at an angle in front of the parked car and the lorry was behind the parked car. The rear of his car was damaged.


Under cross-examination concerning the damage to his motor car, the respondent/plaintiff stated;

“My car received damage to trunk cover, left rear light and area around that light and gas tank which is on the right side of car. I do not know a side panel fitting. The left side panel was not damaged. I agree those were the repairs to my car. I was not attempting to overtake P. 303. No other vehicle was coming in opposite direction. I was driving behind vehicle. I overtook the motor lorry opposite Ilaro Court gate and was driving for sometime in front of the motor lorry before the accident occurred.”


At the hearing before the magistrate, documentary evidence disclosed the nature of the repairs done by Eddies Auto Repairs to motor car MA. 558 and the costs as follows:

(1) Replacing trunk lid


(2) Replacing left side tail lamp


(3) Cost of repairing left side panel — fitting of new parts


(4) Painting




The appellant/defendant stated in his evidence that he was driving motor vehicle P. 303 towards Bridgetown on Two Mile Hill. He was in a line of traffic. When he got past Ilaro Court, a car was ahead of him, an English made car, brown and beige — a Wolseley. He drove behind this car from Chapel Gap. There was another car in front of him. Only the Wolseley was travelling a little over a car length ahead of him.


A little before he got to the next corner, a car came from behind and overtook him. Another vehicle was coming up the same time. The car which overtook him swung back in front of him. All he could do was to brake. The space was too close and in swinging in front of him, the left part of his back fender, around the light section, hit the right corner of the front bumper of the truck.


He did not remember the number of the car that swung in front of him, but he stated it was an off-white mini.


The mini ended up a little in front of the truck which came to a halt on the left side of the road. He looked at the truck and there was a little paint on the right edge of the bumper. The damage to the car was the left rear fender around the light section.


His further evidence was that the driver of the car is called “Gooney” and that his was the only car ahead of him. He did not signal.


Maxi Franklyn the owner of the truck visited the scene and he saw motor car MA. 558 facing Bridgetown with its left side across the road towards the trench and the rear towards the middle of the road. The left side rear light and left side rear were damaged, the area around the light.


He saw on the front right side of the bumper of the truck “a little scratch with a little cream paint. It was the same colour of the mini car”.


Douglas Eastmond giving evidence on behalf of the appellant/defendant stated:

“I was driving a vehicle along Two Mile Hill… When I passed Ilaro Court and turn the corner, I remember seeing a truck through my rear view mirror P. 303 I continued to drive towards Bridgetown. I kept occasionally looking throw my rear view mirror. I remember seeing a car emerging from behind this truck P. 303. I also remember seeing a vehicle coming from Bridgetown and when the vehicle behind the truck found that it could not clear, it swerved back in and struck the truck. I did not stop.

I could be travelling no more than about 10–15 m.p.h. I do not recall the type of car it...

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