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[Compensation Claim] Industrial Court dismisses suit against firm for lack of proof

805 Tuesday 9th November 2021

His Lordship, Hon. Justice Rabi Gwandu has dismissed the compensation claims filed by Mr. Emmanuel Ndifon against Bel Impex Ltd for lack of proof. 


Justice Gwandu held that it would be farfetched for the Court to grant any compensation against Bel Impex Ltd when the firm has shown that it complied with the Employees Compensation Act, and its workers were correctly insured in case of any injuries that Emmanuel rejected compensation from his insurers.


From fact, the claimant- Emmanuel Ndifon had submitted that he got injured while operating the Machine which injured his two fingers, that the firm refused to accede or consider his demands and was never issued any insurance coverage until the accident occurred.


In its defense, the firm maintained that by its standard procedure and practice, Mr Emmanuel’s negligence caused the accident that they took every necessary step for support, paid his hospital bills, and contacted its insurers to process claims due upon accidents, which was in conformity with the relevant insurance provisions especially as regards the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund.


The company maintained that Mr. Emmanuel refused to accept the compensation offered by the Insurance companies, and it would be a grave injustice for it to be held responsible and liable in damages in the face of strong evidence that he (Emmanuel) was actually the negligent party and his injury was self-induced, urged the court to dismiss the case.


In opposition, Emmanuel’s counsel, Dominic Ajah Esq submitted that his client is entitled to compensation having sustained an injury in the course of employment that the assertion of the firm that his client was negligent was not proved with any credible evidence, urged the Court to discountenance such assumption and grant the reliefs sought.


Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Rabi Gwandu held that Mr. Emmanuel has not proven to the Court that his injuries resulted as a result of the firm negligence or lack of proper working conditions, neither has he rebutted the allegation that his injuries were caused as a result of his negligence.


The Court held that it will be wrong and against natural justice to punish a party that by all indications has shown it abided by laws governing its operations, treated its employees fairly.

 

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