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    October 16

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What's Trending: To pay or not to pay

Looka Lew, lookalew@nationenws.com

Added 09 November 2013


The Nation’s Online Editor Sherrylyn Toppin looks at What’s Trending today in Barbados. This week, James Wilson and Company of Downes and Wilson funeral home filed a civil suit against pop superstar Rihanna to settle an unpaid bill for services provided for her  grandmother Clara Brathwaite’s funeral. According to the court documents, a final bill of $301 793 was submitted for the June 10, 2012 funeral of which $72 960 were paid. The documents state extras like a sound system, carpeted stage set-ups, electrical generators, tents, rentals of palm trees, drapes and hand rails all contributed to the final cost. A letter from Rihanna’s lawyer’s, which was sent to the funeral home last year stated “no monies are due or owing to you contractually or otherwise, and no further monies will be paid”. Online readers stood on both sides of the divide, some stating the bill was exorbitant and shouldn’t be paid, others stating she needed to settle the bill. Caleb Watson: Rihanna was charged an exorbitant price for her grandmother’s funeral because of her celebrity status. I hope she wins the lawsuit that is filed against her. Archangel Crichlow-Daniel: Wait, my question is why the chairman of Barbados Tourism Authority felt obliged to approach the funeral home in the first place? Prince Nick: I wouldn’t pay one red cent. Danny Clarke Colombian: If people would read the facts and not just jump on the bandwagon, they would see that the retrofitting of the church and the elaborate floral displays were the brunt of the cost so it’s not as if she was charged all of that money for a casket and grave plot. It’s all the other special effects that she requested, and furthermore, did no one from her management look over the estimate of all these things? Sandra Davis: She’s not short of money? Why doesn’t she pay it ? Nikita Marshall: Seriously would you think a funeral [home] would go up against a big pop start with a law suit if they know they can’t win? I think there was some wrong doing on her part, but still love my RiRi. Pan Willie: When you request all the trimmings for a big funeral, then you should understand it will be costly and you should be prepared to pay for it.  All the small services that would have been engaged will charge VAT which will help to increase the bill.  It is sad to sully this goodly undertaker’s reputation/business, and that this has had to go so far for two outstanding nationals. Ego Evaluation: I don’t understand what the problem is here, things were ordered, delivered and used. Why not just pay the bill? Maybe the Barbados Tourism Authority will end up paying. Why would they even need to intervene to ask a funeral home to provide this service? One of the relatives could have done it or I am sure the young lady has people for that.


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