By JACOB POK
THE Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited (MVIL) is to pay Yama Security Services (YSS) about K4.4 million in damages for breach of contract.
The liability against MVIL, or how much owed YSS, would rise to somewhere near K10 million due to interest and costs, since the case was instituted 10 years ago.
The Supreme Court in Waigani this week dismissed an application filed by MVIL against YSS that had sought to dismiss the National Court decision in favour of YSS.
MVIL was seeking to re-open an earlier decision of the Supreme Court using the slip rule, but the court dismissed the appeal and re-enforced the earlier decision that was made in favour of YSS.
The initial proceedings commenced in 1999 when MVIL was formerly Motor Vehicle Insurance Trust (MVIT).
MVIT terminated YSS businesses activities and YSS took MVIT to court, claiming damages caused as a result of the termination.
The National Court on Aug 25, 2000, ruled in favour of YSS and ordered MVIT to pay YSS a sum of K4,398,937.85 as damages.
MVIL succeeded MVIT around that time, and liabilities passed on.
MVIL appealed to the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision.
The proceedings commenced and on May 5, 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the National Courts decision and ordered MVIL to pay YSS the amount with interests.
But MVIL was not satisfied with the decision and further appealed to the same court to re-open its own decision using the slip rule.
The slip rule principle is the final process of court that permits the higher court to review or rehear an issue when there is good reason for the court to consider.
MVIL’s appeal went before a three-man Supreme Court bench of Deputy Chief Justice Gibbs Salika, Justice Nicholas Kirriwom and Justice Elenas Batari.
They found that MVIL had not shown that exceptional circumstances exist to justify a re-opening of the court decision under the slip rule.
They ordered the appeal be dismissed and the earlier decision be upheld.
YSSL owner Peter Yama, said he was finally relieved after going through the court battle for almost 10 years.
“This is a Christmas present for me and my family as we have been patience since day one of the court battle,” Mr Yama said.