A High Court judge has awarded $130,000 plus cost to Dr. Philbert Aaron in a defamation suit file against police officer and calypsonian, Checko.
Checko had penned a song in 2011, ‘Bug Her,’ which Aaron claimed was defamatory to him.
According to a statement in the suit the song refers to Aaron by his designation and initial “Ambassador A.”
In handing down his decision, Justice Errol Thomas awarded $75,000 for general damages, $50,000 for aggravated damages and $5,000 for exemplary damages on account of the remix of the song because of Checko’s desire to win the road march title.
On January 16, 2013, Aaron filed a claim against Checko, whose real name is Abel Jno Baptiste, alleging libel and slander with respect to the song which was written and sung by the defendant.
The suit, filed by Noelize Knight-Didier of Harris and Harris on behalf of Aaron, claimed damages for “libel and slander.”
They also claim for aggravated and exemplary damages, an injunction restraining the defendant from further publishing the offending words and or any other words defamatory of Aaron.
Checko had filed an acknowledgement of service on February 13, 2013, but filed no defense within the time prescribed by law.
On March 6, 2013 Aaron requested an entry of judgment in default and that was obtained on March 13, 2013.
A subsequent application to set aside the judgment in default was denied.
In his ruling Justice Thomas stated, “The defendant’s ( Checko) conduct before and after he received the letter from the Claimant’s attorney has been noted. But what has not been highlighted is that the defendant offered an apology-not after he received the said letter, but in his witness statement filed on November 25, 2013 for the purposes of assessment of damages.”