Guyanese cleaner wins lawsuit against TT oil services firm


Tanesha Fredericks, who was employed as a utilities cleaner with the Trinidad and Tobago oil services company Centipede Offshore (Guyana), which is headquartered at 35 Delhi Street, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown, has won a default judgement in a personal injury lawsuit she brought against the company.

Fredericks’s lawyers Eusi Anderson and Khawn Rodney have said that during her tenure at the company, their client was forced to perform her duties, which included the handling of toxic chemicals and cleaning agents with surgical gloves instead of industrial-strength gloves.

After complaining several times for better gloves, the lawyers said, their client was transferred to various departments on the sea vessel, and was subsequently fired. According to Fredericks’s lawyers, when the woman came onshore, her fingers began feeling numb, and as such, she sought medical attention at a city hospital, where doctors informed her that she would never again be able to feel in her 10 fingers.

As such, the woman filed a lawsuit against the company, in which she sought in excess of $1,000,000 in damages for chemical burns her fingers sustained between October 28 and 29, 2020. She also claimed special damages for medical expenses, loss of income, and loss of earning capacity and costs.

With Centipede Offshore failing to file a defence in the claim, High Court Judge Fidela Corbin-Lincoln, on July 8, granted a default judgement against the company. An assessment of damages hearing has been fixed for October 21.

In a press statement, Fredericks’s lawyers said she was being paid less than 30 per cent of what the company is paying workers in Trinidad for doing the same job.

According to them, she never received a penny from the company for her injuries or as compensation. The woman’s lawyers pointed out that the Trinidadian company did not even show up in court to defend the claim.

“All they did was write Fredericks’s lawyers begging to settle the matter,” the lawyers said, adding that there must be an end to such practices.