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Table tennis body files to stop lawsuit

Published: 
Friday, April 27, 2018

The T&T Table Tennis Association (TTTTA) is seeking to stop an ongoing lawsuit challenging the process it used to select representatives for the recently concluded Commonwealth Games.

The association’s lawyers made the application on Monday as it amended its defense to the claim brought by Dexter St Louis and his stepdaughter Rheann Chung, earlier this year.It is claiming that the duo

should be precluded from pursuing the claim as they had suggested that the dispute is resolved by the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC)’s arbitration panel. The association blanked the request as it said that it had the sole remit to refer such disputes to arbitration.

It is also alleging that the lawsuit is academic as St Louis and Chung were eventually allowed to compete at the games in Australia, earlier this month, alongside the association’s initial picks Aaron Wilson and Yuvraj Dookram.

During the hearing before Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell in the Port-of-Spain High Court, the association’s attorneys challenged her previous wasted costs order, under which they (association’s legal team) were required to pay St Louis and Chung’s legal costs for bringing the lawsuit.

The order was granted as St Louis and Chung claimed that they would not have been forced to file the lawsuit if they (the attorneys) had advised the association to approve the arbitration.

Donaldson-Honeywell agreed and decided to vacate her previous order. She also gave directions for the lawsuit and adjourned it to July 16.

In the lawsuit, St Louis, 50, and 33-year-old Chung, the most decorated athletes to ever represent T&T in the sport, are questioning the process used by the association to select 19-year-old Wilson and 21-year-old Dookram for the Games.

They are seeking damages for breach of contract, conspiracy and unlawful interference.

In its defense, the TTTTA is claiming that the duo was informed via email of the selection criteria and chose not to participate. It also alleged that they only decided to challenge the process after it was completed.

The TTTTA is also claiming that it had closely followed the TTOC’s guidelines and deadlines for selection, which focuses on

T&T’s ace table tennis player Dexter St Louis

T&T’s table tennis player

Rheann Chung youth participation.

Donaldson-Honeywell had initially granted the duo an injunction barring any participants being chosen for the Games but it was eventually withdrawn after the parties came to a compromise through discussions with the TTOC.

St Louis and Chung are being represented by Mathew Gayle, Sheriza Khan and Dr Emir Crowne, while Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Taklalsingh, and Stefan Ramkissoon are representing the TTTTA.

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