Cornerstone/Barita & two executives sue Gleaner & Jovan Johnson

7 months ago

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Cornerstone United Holdings Limited, Barita Investments and two of its senior executives have filed a US multi-million dollar defamation suit against the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper and its senior staff reporter, Jovan Johnson.

Documents obtained by SLEEK media confirm that the suit has come following a series of publications written by Johnson and published by the Gleaner in relation to Attorney-at-law, Deborah Mordecai-Edwards’ dispute with Cornerstone.

Cornerstone and its principals are seeking damages in the region of millions of United States dollars or over several billion Jamaican dollars.

According to the legal documents, Johnson and the Gleaner made allegations which are inaccurate and damaging and were not included in documents filed before the Supreme Court in connection with the action Cornerstone brought against Mordecai-Edwards to protect its reputation.

The particulars of the claim form in the defamation suit, which was filed on Friday, says Johnson and the Gleaner made false and inaccurate claims about the Financial Services Commission’s interest in what the newspaper had described as the Cornerstone/Barita saga.

Cornerstone notes that Section 15 of the FSC Act, 2001 obligates the FSC to keep secret information that they have in their possession in carrying out their duties failing which, an offence is committed.

Cornerstone, Barita, Simpson and Chambers are seeking damages for defamation along with libel including aggravated and exemplary damages.

The claimants have also asked the Supreme Court to grant an injunction which restrains Johnson and the Gleaner from repeating or republishing the allegations.

Cornerstone and the other claimants who have initiated the lawsuit are also seeking to have legal costs awarded to them.

Barita Investments is listed as first claimant on the suit.

Cornerstone United Holdings is second claimant and Cornerstone Financial Holdings is third claimant.

Cornerstone boss and Barita Deputy Chairman, Paul Simpson is listed as 4th claimant, while Barita’s Chief Investments Officer, Jason Chambers, completes the list of claimants.

The Gleaner is listed as first defendant and Johnson is the second defendant.

The particular claim form is inked by Barita Chairman, Mark Myers, along with Simpson and Chambers.

Barita is being represented by King’s Counsel Ransford Braham.

After being served with the documents, the Gleaner and Johnson will have a few weeks to respond in Court.