28 Jul 2011

American Samoa's govt told to pay damages to a child hit by a school van

11:05 am on 28 July 2011

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has sent to the Legislature a bill to pay a High Court judgment for a child who was struck by a school lunch van in 2001.

The High court ruled that the government pay damages for injuries that then 11-year-old Viiga Tuavale sustained when a School Lunch Program van hit him as he was walking home after school.

The court set damages at 50,000 US dollars but reduced the amount by a third because Tuavale was on the road when the accident happened.

The Appellate Court upheld the ruling.

However the government hasn't paid because the Fono hasn't appropriated any funds to pay the court judgment.

The Governor has now submitted to the Fono a bill appropriating 32,500 dollars from the pending bill to hike the excise tax on alcohol, beer and to pay the judgment.