Former landscaper sues Monteil for $300,000
Former CL Financial executive and former People’s National Movement (PNM) treasurer Andre Monteil is being sued by his former landscaper for $300,000 in unpaid maintenance fees for his two properties in Tobago.
In his court filings, obtained by Guardian Media, lawyers representing Zimroy Williams are claiming that he was forced to file the lawsuit after Monteil repeatedly broke promises to clear the debt, which stems from work done at his properties in Buccoo and Lowlands between late 2017 and 2019.
According to the documents, Williams claims that in January 2017 he entered into an oral agreement with Monteil to maintain the properties for $20,000 a month.
Williams performed the services as agreed and received his monthly payments until November that year.
Monteil reportedly promised to pay Williams, who agreed to continue his services even without an outstanding balance.
He claimed that in February 2018, Monteil gave him a $40,000 cheque to cover the last two months of the previous year but it was dishonoured by the bank.
Williams continued to perform the work without pay until August 2018 when he stopped after Monteil’s assurances overpayment continued to not materialise.
“In light of the Defendant’s guarantees and assurances, the Claimant decided to resume all landscaping and gardening services in September 2018 at the said properties, as he had a genuine belief that all efforts would be made by the Defendant to satisfy the outstanding debt owed to him,” Williams’ lawyers said in his court filings.
They claimed that he continued until April 2019, when he finally stopped.
After he did, Monteil made one monthly payment.
They claimed that after they sent a legal letter on Williams’ behalf, Monteil allegedly acknowledged his indebtedness and again promised to pay.
Through the lawsuit, Williams is seeking the money he is still owed plus interest.
Earlier this year, Monteil, the former chairman of Clico Investment Bank (CIB), and former CIB President Richard Trotman were ordered to pay the bank almost $100 million in restitution over a controversial unsecured loan Monteil took before the bank’s collapse.
Delivering a 129-page judgement, in April, High Court Judge Avason Quinlan-Williams ruled that both Monteil and Trotman were responsible for the unpaid $78 million loan as they breached their fiduciary duties to the bank in facilitating it, well over a decade ago.
Williams is being represented by Martin George and Lakshmi Lalla.
By: Derek Achong