Lawsuit in Arch Cot cave-in deaths

Codrington family survivors seek justice

Five years after five sleeping members of the Codrington family were buried alive when their home collapsed into a known cave, lawyer David Comissiong has announced his intentions to sue the negligent parties on behalf of the surviving family members.

Named in the lawsuit are the Attorney General, the Town Planning Department, apartment building owner Peter Cox, Mahy Ridley Hazzard Engineers Limited, Lemuel Rawlins (original land owner) and Dr. Jerry Emtage, who was constructing a building behind the apartment where the Codringtons died. (Nation News: Arch Cot Suit)

Civil Cases often take 20+ years in Barbados courts

In January of 2012 we predicted that an Arch Cot civil case would be at least 22 years in the Barbados Courts. We didn’t pull that figure from a hat, you know. 22 years is a reasonable estimate based upon the size of the case and the known and proven non-performance of the Barbados Justice system and island lawyers who will be opposing Mr. Comissiong.

See Arch Cot Justice will be delayed another 20 years

BFP will continue to follow the Arch Cot Disaster story

Cover-up: AG Marshall said nobody was to blame

Barbados Free Press followed the story from the early morning of August 26, 2007 and joined the Codrington family survivors in shaming the government into calling an inquest. This was after then Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall actually announced the results of his ‘investigation’ a mere six days after the disaster by concluding that nobody was to blame.

“It could have happened to anyone” said then-Attorney General Dale Marshall before the bodies had even been pulled from the rubble.

Yes, of course it could have happened to anyone in Barbados with people like Dale Marshall in positions of power and authority – who are part of and responsible for the corrupt public institutions that issued the building permits and failed in their duty to protect innocent citizens.

It was Barbados Free Press that first published the work of noted Professor Hans G. Machel, who said right out that the deaths were caused by “gross negligence”

“The five Codringtons were murdered just as surely as if someone had put a gun to their heads and pulled the trigger – especially in the crimes that were committed when the ticking-time-bomb of a house was built upon a known cave.”

from BFP’s March 17, 2009 article Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

When Barbados newspapers and electronic news media refused to publish Professor Machel’s letter to Prime Minister David Thompson, Barbados Free Press published the story of how witnesses lived in fear because they know how things go ‘pon de rock….

“I found out many more things that the public has a right to know but that have been hidden so far. I encountered an atmosphere of frustration and intimidation, nourished especially under the previous BLP government. I met several individuals who were afraid to speak out for fear of loosing their jobs, bodily harm, or having their houses burnt down, if they ever went public with what they know. I will speak for them. And should the day come, I am prepared to testify in any court of law under oath.”

Professor Hans Machel in BFP’s February 1, 2009 article Barbados Newspapers Refuse To Print Letter Revealing Secret Government Report Into Cave-In Deaths. Professor Machel Will Name Names


Arch Cot Inquest witness intimidation: Professor Hans G. Machel reports intimidation, fears of arson, bodily harm, job loss against potential witnesses.

Will Barbados Free Press be here 22 years from now…

…when the Arch Cot case reaches a conclusion? Will your editor Marcus still be drawing breath?

We’ll do our best folks, and if Shona, Robert, Clive, George, Nevermind Kurt and Auntie Moses aren’t around, maybe the two boys will be looking after things as the oldest will be almost 30 by then. 22 years will be a long time for the Codringtons to wait for justice.


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Corruption, Disaster

4 responses to “Lawsuit in Arch Cot cave-in deaths


    There are the same top people we have been talking about for years,Lets see if Lemuel Rawlins is the true land owner. Who he bought the land from.
    22 years all may be dead as the lawyers drain both sides of FUNDS

  2. cliptuck

    A shame that the court case will take that long but this is Barbados!

  3. LOOK

    A shame what happened to that family, but those Barbados hi-ups allowed it.

  4. Mike M

    This suit/case/charges that are being filed are civil and these types of cases do take forever.
    However, what about the criminal cases?! All who were obviously complicit in causing the deaths of these innocences – especially that arrogant Emptage, should also face the courts on five counts of causing death by gross negligence! Imagine ignoring all the obvious signs and continuing to excavate and then Emptage explicitly ORDERING the bulldozers to continue when they wanted to stop should not – CAN NOT – be allowed to go unpunished. The engineers, the construction firm, the land owners should also feel the full weight of the law and the nine+ inches of Bubba and Big Mike up Dodds!!!!!