Liberia: GT Bank Suffers Setback

17 January 2019

The Civil Law Court "B" at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has denied Guaranty Trust Bank's motion to drop a US$1 million damage case between it and a former employee.

Sie Edward Freeman, former employee of the bank took the bank to court for US$1 million damage, after he was assaulted by the bank's former manager with calculator.

The bank prayed the court to drop the case against it claiming that it did no wrong to Freeman, a Liberian employee who was assaulted last year by the bank's manager.

GT Bank through its legal counsel filed a motion to drop the charges against it contending that it was the former suspended Managing Director Ayodeji Bejidi who assaulted Freeman.

"Movant (GT Bank) begged this honorable court to drop the case as a party defendant, as to do otherwise is to acquiesce in Plaintiff's shameless attempt to extort money from his employer," the bank told the court.

But ruling on Wednesday, Judge Scheaplor R. Dunbar said, "Guaranty Trust Bank motion to drop charges is hereby denied and dismissed and the case ordered proceeded with in keeping with law."

Judge Dunbar recorded that on October 2, 2018, GT Bank's former employee Sie Edward Freeman instituted an action of damages for a wrong against him by GT Bank-Liberia Limited as first defendant and Ayodeji Bejidi as second defendant.

The Judge said Freeman is seeking to recover damages from the defendants for the injury he sustained as a result of the former Manager's assault on him on August 28, 2018.

Judge Dunbar quoted Freeman as saying he was illegally and wrongfully assaulted by the former Managing Director of the bank, which he requested the court to award him general damages of not less than US$1 million.

On October 12, 2018, GT Bank also filed a twenty-five count answer to their former employee Edward Freeman's motion to drop charges on them and motion to strike Freeman's complaint.

"This court notes that GT Bank has not been brought under the jurisdiction of this court by the service of the court's precept on him," Judge Dumbar said.

The Judge stated that: "resistance and oral arguments of the parties present one cardinal issue for the court's determination this issue is whether under the facts and circumstances of this case GT Bank can be dropped as a disjoined party the answer is no."

The Judge further said "our law provides that persons who ought to be parties to an action if complete relief is to be accorded between the persons who are parties to such action shall be made therein."

The Judge said an employer's liability under the doctrine of employee superior depends on the facts and circumstances of each case, including whether the employee's conduct is closely related in time, place and causation to the job, so that activity is foreseeable risk of the particular employment.

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