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The court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, welfare of labour, employee, worker and matter incidental thereto or connected therewith.

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In Lagos, Industrial Court awards N5m damages against firm for negligence


952 Monday 27th November 2023

The Presiding Judge, Lagos Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon Justice Maureen Esowe has awarded the sum of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira only) as damages against Abraka Company Ltd for negligence and failure to forward Mr. Felix Esuturie's necessary paperwork to the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund to aid in the processing of his claim for compensation in line with the Employee’s Compensation Act, 2010.

 

The Court also ordered Abraka Company Ltd to pay Felix Esuturie the sum of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira only) as general damages for financial hardship and socio-economic discomfort suffered, with the sum of N500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) Cost of action.

 

Justice Esowe held that the Court is satisfied with the evidence before it that Felix lost his entitlement to statutory compensation for the disability he suffered following an accident in the course of his employment owing to the firm’s conduct. 

 

From facts, the Claimant- Felix Esuturie had submitted that sometime on 20th October 2015, while in the course of his employment, he suffered a fracture on his right ankle following an industrial accident at his workplace which left him with permanent injury. 

 

He contended that the firm initially paid for treatment of the injury sustained but failed to forward and submit to the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) the required paperwork to give room for the assessment and processing of his compensation for the injury sustained at work under the Employee’s Compensation Act, 2010.

 

However, the defendant- Abraka Company Ltd failed to file any defence despite receiving the court’s processes and hearing notices.

 

Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Maureen Esowe held that when a party fails or neglects to utilize the opportunity afforded it by the Court to put up its case, such party cannot later be heard to complain of denial of fair hearing.

 

The Court held that the evidence of the accident that led to Felix Esuturie sustaining a fracture to his leg is unchallenged and the legal standard of care was for the firm to have furnished the NSITF Board with the required documentation to look into and process the victim compensation claims. 

 

Justice Esowe held that the Court is satisfied with the evidence before it that Felix Esuturie lost his entitlement to statutory compensation for the disability he suffered following an accident in the course of his employment with the Defendant owing to the company's conduct. 

 

The Court held that Abraka Company Ltd's lack of diligence in pursuing Felix Esuturie’s statutory compensation claim with the NSITF Board can not be justified by the alleged reason it gave for the delay in forwarding to the Board outstanding documents. 

 

Visit the judgment portal for full details