May 23, 2020 | By Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie |
Ja$25 Million Dollars Awarded
The vexed issue of contaminated gas that irated motorists even the Opposition Leader Hon. Andrew Michael Holness in 2015 has now been settled. Twenty five million dollars (JA$25, 000, 000, 000) was transferred from Petrojam to settle the claims. Forty two (42) claims were rejected.
The public submitted to the committee for settlement from a total of 423 claims.
Vision Newspaper never failed to write about this rape on consumers with got contaminated gas that damaged their injectors and engines.
381 … Were therefore found to have met all the requirements for acceptance. Those 42 not honoured
would likely be very disappointed.
We understand that the highest claim honoured was for JA$.800,000 … and the lowest was for JA$2000. Some were full settlements and others were partial.
We are glad this nightmare is about to end for many consumers. It must be regretted that 42 claims were denied. Ironically,. a number of genuine claimants did not bother to submit claims as the debates that followed the mishap due to the contaminated gas outcry was not very encouraging, to say the least.
Fingers were pointed in the direction of certain big oil marketing companies who had resorted to threaten accusers with potential lawsuit(s). It was all so scary. This turned off a number of consumers and suppressed any possible dialogue with them to arrive at any form of compensation. Consumers rights were about to be trampled on like a steel presser grinding coffee beans.
The Consumer Affairs Commission was forced to save the day. Enough said. It was tantamount to a big stick over consumers’ head.
This was uncharted waters and many affected consumers told me they “would rather suck up their loss”. There was no or very low confidence in the system to deliver any meaningful results.
Did PM Holness file a claim?. He was affected as Opposition Leader. His would have been a genuine claim. His bad gas troubles were well published in the media.
The CAC must therefore be commended for restoring public confidence that somewhere out there someone dare to want to stand up for the consumer … and that consumer affairs really matter.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is a Consumer Advocate and also Senior National & International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper