The Fast Track High Court in Accra has ordered an Indian company to pay GH¢4,417,600 to a 21-year-old man for negligently causing him to lose his 10 fingers in an accident while in the employment of the company.
The company, B5 Plus Company Limited, was also directed to pay an additional $30,000 to the victim, Julius Sylvester Bortey Alabi, to be used to fit prosthetic fingers.
A cost of GH¢100,000 was also granted in favour of the plaintiff, who lost all his 10 fingers due to what the court noted as his employer’s failure to provide him with protective clothing to work with.
The court ordered that the damages should be put in an investment account or invested in treasury bills on behalf of the victim.
Joined to the suit were Mr. Dee Jay and another whose name was given only as Mr. Pareesh, both directors of the company.
According to the court, the plaintiff succeeded in establishing his case to the satisfaction of the court.
‘Julius has suffered pain, acute deformed body/hands, physical incapacitation and loss of amenities etc.
‘The permanent disfigurement and incapacity shall continue to haunt him and deprive him of engaging in so many field activities as a schoolboy or young man,’ the presiding judge, Mr. Justice Bright Mensah, held in his judgement.
Alabi was 18 years old and had completed junior high school (JHS), when he was engaged by the defendants as a casual worker for a monthly salary of GH¢130.
His engagement commenced on June 4, 2012, but he suffered the serious accident less than a week into his employment.
Per his schedule of work, Alabi was assigned to count and write down the quantity of roofing sheets produced in the factory by the company.
However, on that fateful day, he was directed by his employers to pull out a roofing sheet stuck in a machine and in the process, Dee Jay pressed a red button which reversed the operation of the machine.
As a result of that action, the machine rather pulled both hands of Alabi causing him severe injury.
He was hospitalised for three months at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Alabi, whose employers neglected him after he was discharged from the hospital, lost his father a day after the accident.
It also emerged in court that Pareesh was Alabi’s supervisor, while Dee Jay was the operator of the roller machine that severed Alabi’s fingers.