Tom Jones claims go to trial

| 26/08/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman Island headline news(CNS): Following a decision by the Grand Court, the Cayman Islands government will be forced to settle its dispute with former schools contractor Tom Jones International at trial. The general contractor had been awarded both the government public high school projects at the John Gray Campus in George Town and the Clifton Hunter campus in Frank Sound but walked off the jobs in November last year. The contractor claimed that government had not paid its bills and that it was in dispute with the education ministry regarding add-ons and overruns of some $17 million. TJI filed a claim in Grand Court against government, which in turn applied to have the claims dismissed.

However, the court has found that the issues raised by the parties require a full trial. In a statement released by the education ministry on Thursday, the government said it looked forward to presenting its case at the trial in due course.
“To that end, the government will now proceed to set out the full details of its financial claims against TJI,” government officials said. During the ruling the judge revealed that government had not detailed its counterclaim against TJI but government said it now intended to reveal its case against the contractor.
“The term ‘forensically embarrassing’ is used in the judgment in connection with the government’s counterclaim. This is a legal term, which simply means “’lacking in detail’. The government did not feel that it was appropriate to incur the costs of setting out its counterclaim in full until it was clear that the matter would go to a full trial. The Court has now found that the issues raised by the parties do require a full trial and, accordingly, the government will now proceed to set out the full details of its claim against TJI,” the ministry said in the statement.
Following its departure from the sites in November 2009, TJI accused government of not demonstrating that it had the financial resources to complete the projects. It said the school development projects were “ill-conceived, poorly executed, over-indulgent, and insufficiently funded,” and the Ministry of Education had made more than 85 significant changes to the original plans totalling as much as CI$17 million that it had not budgeted for.
Since TJI walked away, with the exception of some maintenance work conducted by local subcontractors, the sites have remained idle for around nine months. The government began seeking construction management services earlier this year and went through a tendering process, which was abandoned after government decided to phase the development of the schools. The deadline for the latest tenders is tomorrow 27 August.
Meanwhile, the court’s judgment in this case became a public document on Thursday evening and CNS intends to publish details as soon as it is able to get a copy.
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  1. Hufflepuff says:

    Well at least it would have been the AG and the Legal Department advising the Govt on a $17m issue before the contracts were shut down, so there is no risk of us all having to pay more when the budget is blown by a judgment. . . . .


  2. Anonymous says:

     Why don’t they just pay them to finish the schools?  They will probably pay more in the lawsuit.  Take the 9mil for Hurricane Hilton.  I’m sure that could help.

  3. Deep Throat says:

    So our illustrious CIG how much do you have to pay TJI for this part of the suit and really what’s another $17+ mil onto $6+ mil already awarded?????

    Oops cat out of the bag, so sorry.


  4. Anonymous says:


    I hope people open their eyes and see where party politics has got us!

    • Anonymous says:

      PPM did not breach the contract NOR did they take this lost cause to court – that’s the foolish UDP’s doing!

  5. Anonymous says:

    What happens when a whole Government is so stupid it can not tell a professional from an idiot and therefore treats every one as an idiot.

    Take a problem,  repeat. repeat, repeat,repeat, repeat.

    Watch as Tom Jones shows the depth of the Governments stupidity and why ANYONE would be stupid to do business with them.

    • Pauly Cicero says:

      TJI doesn’t appear too stupid to me. Looks like they are going to get paid for an unfinished project, but I do like the way you think.

      • Anonymous says:

        The only stupid thing TJI did was trust the government.  I’m sure that won’t happen again.  Too bad  The Caymanian people (minus the turtle farm, Cayman airways, and Civil service tribes of course) can’t learn from the mistakes of others.  They must now get ready to see their hard earned money given away with nothing to show for it but once AGAIN how stupid their elected Government is. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    The history of government claims does not bode well for a successful outcome in this matter.

    It seems these things happen again and again and no one in government ever learns from past mistakes.

    In private business no one can afford or lasts very long when major problems occur and are not dealt with in a professional manner.

    Many of these "grand projects" simply turn into white elephants, I truly hope the port development scheme is not included in this description. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    hahaha…the incompetence of this government never ends…….

  8. Beachboi says:

    Okay so $17 million to TJI + their legal fees = what about $20 million????  Of course McKeewer will BLAME IT ON THE PPM!  He should have looked the funding required to cover these projects before he donated $30 million to Cayman Airways and Boatswain’s Beach.  Ultimately it will hurt no one but WE THE PEOPLE  as we will face MORE fee increases to cover the pay out. 

    Tomorrow I’m going to look up my voter information on the election website and send it, a copy of my passport and a letter to the Governor asking him to intervene and get this premier out of his post.  This is just the start to the process people.  Join the movement!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Cruise Ship Dock? How many millions? This project is necessary but must be well managed so that the Cayman Islands receives fair returns on its investment.

    The current government gangs, both in and out of power, are not competant when it comes to professional project management. Just look at the public school mess.

    The Cayman Islands desperately needs new leadership. McKeeva’s gang and Kurt’s gang are both deeply flawed. Both gangs are uneducated and possibly, maybe, perhaps, just a little bit XXXX incompetent.

    By the way, I am an expat and I personally know a number of "true born" Caymanians who are both capable and ethical. I wish that they would have the guts to "step up to the plate" and truly make a significant difference. Roy Bodden would make a great mentor for these young persons and perhaps a good leader. Cayman desperately needs them to put themselves forward for the extremely difficult task of public service in the "service before self" model.

    I really wish the Cayman Islands well and hope and pray that the good will prevail.

    • Anonymous says:

       The problem here was not the skills of professional project managers in government, because they didn’t even have one. Compare that to the new office building which is on time (and as we haven’t heard anything different presumably on budget). The project manager may be – lets call him firey – but he knows how to get things done and how to manage a contractor.

    • Anonymous says:

      Roy Bodden…seriously now?? He was there – in the high post of Minister of Education – did he make a difference then? Why do you think he is the one to mentor our new leaders?

  10. O'Really says:

    Help me out here.

    The government moved to have TJI’s claim dismissed without going to trial, but did not present to the Grand Court the full weight of evidence required in order for the Court consider such an application. They did not wish to "incur the costs of setting out its counterclaim in full until it was clear that the matter would go to a full trial" thus insuring the claim would go to trial, when not only would such costs be incurred, but additional costs as well.

    Is this really the quality of thinking in government now? Who wants to bet that government’s case will continue to be forensically embarrassing until such time as they settle?

    We are rudderless. 


  11. Legal Beagle says:

    From this lawyer’s persepctive "’forensically embarrassing" is a term which means "forensically embarrassing".

  12. Rorschach says:

    It’s not unusual….

    • Delilah says:

      Why, why whyyyyyyyyy deny it?

      My my myyyyyyyyyyy poor island.

      So before, they come to make us all poor, 

      Forgive me dear Cayman I just cannot take anymorrrreeeeee

  13. Pending says:

    Great, more money being spent by Government.

    Expensive Trial + Incompetent Legal Department = Money the Govt. doesn’t have + More fee increases for the public to pay for it.