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Case details

Ervin Dean (Appellant) v Bahamas Power & Light (Respondent) (Bahamas)

Case ID: JCPC 2023/0010

Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

Case summary


Whether the Court of Appeal erred in revising downwards the quantum of damages awarded to the Appellant for the unlawful termination of his employment.


On 22 September 2017, the Respondent terminated the Appellant's contract of employment without notice. The Appellant had been an employee of the Respondent for 30 years. The Respondent paid the Appellant $97,608.42 in accordance with the Employment Act 2001.

The terms of the Appellant's employment contract were contained in an Industrial Agreement made between the Respondent's predecessor (Bahamas Electricity Corporation) and the Bahamas Electrical Utility Managerial Union dated 13 January 2016.

Clause 14(2) of the Industrial Agreement sets out the conditions upon which an employee's contract may be terminated with notice and provides that the Respondents cannot terminate an employee unjustly. Clause 15 outlines the procedure to be followed in dismissing an employee for major breaches of his/ her employment contract.

The Appellant commenced a claim for damages for (i) breach of the terms of his employment contract; and (ii) unfair and wrongful dismissal.

At first instance, the Judge found the termination was in breach of the Appellant's contract of employment and awarded damages of (i) $750,012.58 (reduced to $620,631.88 to take account of the sum already paid to the Appellant on termination); (ii) $10,980.64 representing accrued vacation and Christmas bonus; and (iii) $20,792.28 as an ex gratia payment made during the course of trial.

The Respondent appealed on liability and quantum. The Court of Appeal upheld the Judge's finding on liability but revised the quantum award down to $174,806 on the basis that there was no evidence before the Judge to support 'such a handsome windfall'.

The Appellant employee now appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council seeking to reverse the Court of Appeal's decision to reduce the damages awarded.



Ervin Dean


Bahamas Power & Light



Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lord Sales, Lord Leggatt, Lord Burrows, Lady Simler

Hearing start date

1 May 2024

Hearing finish date

1 May 2024

Watch hearing
1 May 2024 Morning session

Judgment details

Judgment date

04 July 2024

Neutral citation

[2024] UKPC 20