26 Jan 2008

American Samoa court orders government to pay for fire damage

8:54 am on 26 January 2008

The High Court has ordered Governor Togiola and the American Samoa Government to submit a bill to the Fono to pay the judgment for the Laufou Shopping Centre Fire by January 30th.

The court ruling was in response to a petition by Progressive Insurance for an order to compel the governor to pay the judgment.

Associate Justice Lyle Richmond said in the order that the defendants Governor Togiola and ASG must forward legislation to the Fono by January 30th.

In the alternative the defendants were ordered to show cause before the court on February 11th.

Progressive filed the peition after the governor refused to confirm that a bill would be sent to the Fono during the current legislative session to pay the $6.6 million judgment plus interest of 6%.

The court ruled that ASG was liable for damages from the Laufou fire due to several acts of negligence by fire department employees .

In his order, Associate Justice Richmond said it appears that the defendants have failed to perform their legal duty.