Firemen lose K100mil appeal

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THE Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal by firemen seeking K100 million in damages for loss of entitlements from the Papua New Guinea Fire Service (PNGFS).
A three-man bench comprising Justice Les Gavara Nanu, Justice Derek Hartshorn and Justice Berna Joan Collier, on Sept 6, dismissed the firemen’s appeal against a National Court decision that dismissed their case against PNGFS and the Government.
The firemen, led by Andrew Talia, commenced proceedings against the PNGFS and the Government in 2015 in the National Court, claiming entitlements for losses suffered and damages.
They claimed that PNGFS breached two memoranda agreements dated 1994 and 2005, thus, denying them their entitlements.
But the case was thrown out in 2017 after the National Court found that the case had no cause of action and that the proceeding was an abuse on the court’s process.
Talia and his group, however, pressed on and appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming the National Court had erred in its ruling.
They were ordered to pay litigation costs to PNGFS.
The Supreme Court found that neither of the two memoranda of agreement were registered under the Public Service Conciliation Authority Act as a determination and published in the National Gazette.