|Roberts considers lawsuit against JCCC|
Guardian Business Editor
Published: Jun 29, 2012
The owner of the Super Value empire is considering a "friendly lawsuit" against the foreign contractor behind the controversial road works over damage to a parking lot.
The supermarket at Robinson Road and East Street was used as a "staging point" for Jose Cartellone Construcciones Civiles (JCCC), according to Rupert Roberts. Gravel, concrete, earth and water ran onto the parking lot, caused substantial damage to the site and inconvenienced customers, Roberts alleged.
Roberts further claimed that JCCC never asked permission to use his parking lot in the first place.
He is demanding the company reimburse him for the repairs, or he'll have to take the matter to the courts.
"We're prepared to sue them for it," he said. "I don't see why not. I have the pictures of the parking lot, before and after. They destroyed my property and I want reimbursement."
The Super Value chief told Guardian Business that the new government should be providing a more detailed update on the status of the roads. Prince Charles has been closed for years, he said, and it never seems to be getting better. In fact, he feels the situation is getting worse.
When it’s finished, he pointed out there is now a concrete structure in front of the Prince Charles Shopping Center, which restricts access. It makes it difficult for residents to across the street and reach the subdivision, he noted.
The much-criticized road works project remains foremost in the minds of many entrepreneurs in New
Providence. Running tens of millions over budget, former state minister of finance James Smith estimated that the project will likely cost the country up to $300 million, after factoring in the impact on local businesses.
Dionisio D'Aguilar, the president of Superwash and chairman of AML Foods, said compensation for entrepreneurs seemed more like a "gimmick" when it was first introduced under the previous administration, so he didn't fill out a form. The top executive, however, has changed his mind.
"Every Superwash has been impacted, every location and there have been a total of five. It's very hard to quantify [the cost of compensation] and let's face it, the Bahamas government is financially strapped," he said.
While Roberts knows that he is not alone in his grievances, he doesn't intend on letting JCCC forget him. After the contractor shifting operations out of his parking lot, it cost Super Value $50,000 to fix and repave the area.
JCCC has not responded to his demand for payment, he added.
"If we don't get paid for the destruction of the parking lot, we will enter into a friendly lawsuit. If they fix what they broke then I'm happy," said Roberts.