Courtney Benn, insurance company facing $414M lawsuit

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Already facing possible debarment, local civil engineering company, Courtney Benn Contracting Services and its insurance provider, Caricom General Insurance Company, will soon have to defend themselves against a joint $414.3 million lawsuit instituted by the State for breach of contract with regards to the re-construction of the St. Roses High School.

According to court documents, Attorney-General, Anil Nandlall, SC, is seeking on behalf of the State general damages in the sum of $100 million and liquidated damages in the sum $41.2 million.

Another $105.8 million in relation to the performance bond and $100 million in aggravated damages is being sought.

The AG also wants the court to order restitution in the sum of $67.3 million.

CEO of Courtney Benn Contracting Services Limited, Courtney Benn

Courtney Benn Contracting Services entered into a contract with the former APNU+AFC government through the Ministry of Education in August 2018 for the reconstruction of the St. Roses High School in Georgetown, to the tune of $357.7 million.

The contract was later amended for an additional $59.5 million in December 2019 and an advance payment of $118 million was made with a new completion date of August 2021.

However, nine months after the contract was finalised and the advance payment made, by August 2020 the construction firm had only completed nine per cent of the works.

The engineering company is being accused of abandoning the project after merely conducting a pile driving exercise.

The company had reportedly removed all of their construction and other equipment from the site.

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