THE Housing Development Corporation (HDC) of Trinidad and Tobago has been found liable for the 2011 pit-bull mauling death of security officer Denise Rackal.
The corporation been ordered to pay some $407,500.
According to Trinidad Express, in delivering the written judgement before at the San Fernando High Court, Justice Frank Seepersad said, “On the facts of this case, the court finds that the HDC had a statutory obligation to manage and control the lands vested in it and this development was still under its charge. This obligation existed over the common areas such as Flambouyant Avenue and it had to take steps to ensure that persons who had access to the said avenue could do so without being subject to the risk of injury by the dogs which were kept by its lessees and its was negligent when it failed to act and to implement steps so as to ensure that (Darryl La Pierre’s) dogs could not have escaped and thereby endanger persons on Flambouyant Avenue.”
On the morning of May 9 2011 Rackal, 46, was attacked while heading to work at an HDC development at Edingburgh Gardens. The mother of two worked there for approximately two years.
Rackals’ husband Lionel Rackal sought damages against the HDC for breach of statutory duty or negligence caused by its failure to take steps to prevent his wife from being mauled to death by La Pierre’s dog while the police officer was its tenant.
He also claimed damages by the corporation’s failure to take steps to prevent Denise Rackal from being mauled to death by the dogs.
He claimed the HDC was aware police corporal Darryl La Pierre who lived at Edinburgh South Gardens, Gentian Park, Chaguanas had four pedigree pit bulls named “Obama”, “Champion”, “Zola” and “Fella” and as the landlords and property managers, allowed him to keep the dangerous dogs.
Under cross examination by HDC’s attorney Shankar Bidaisee, Rackal described one of the dogs as “big” and “fat”. He also gave evidence that on the day his wife was killed, he was shown a hole at the side of La Pierre’s fence and a missing bar in the gate.