YENAGOA---The Presiding Judge, National Industrial Court -Yenagoa Judicial division, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Bashar Alkali has dismissed the suit filed by Mr. Mfon Okon on the claim for compensation and reimbursement for the injury sustained against UNIVERSAL SODEXHO firm and two others for lacking merit.
The Court held that Mfon has not sufficiently discharged the evidential burden placed on him to entitle him to the claims he sought from the Court.
From facts, the Claimant’s stated that he got an injury when going to work and was hospitalized, that the Defendants refused to take responsibility of his treatment or reimburse him for the expenses made, that the firm violated the Collective Agreement between the firm and its workers by failing to grant him free medical treatment.
And further that the termination of his employment was invalid that the defendant failed to pay him terminal benefit as at when due that he remains a constructive staff within the period of termination in 2010 and when he received his entitlement benefits in 2012.
In defence, the 3rd Defendant-CATERING FACILITY SOLUTION denies liability in its entirety and challenged the jurisdiction of the Court over its joinder as a party to the suit, while other Defendants stated that the employment of the Claimant was duly terminated that the Claimant was on a frolic of his own that the injury sustained did not occur in the course of duty.
Counsel for the Claimant maintained that the Claimant has established his case that the accident that led to his injury occurred in the course of his employment and the amount incurred and further that the failure of the Defendants to pay the Claimant his entitlements at the time other workers were paid, entitles the Claimant to some compensatory salaries.
Delivering Judgment, the trial Judge, Justice Alkali affirmed Court jurisdiction and held that 3rd Defendant -was properly joined as a party to the suit and further described as untenable the argument of the Claimant’s Counsel that the Claimant became a ‘constructive staff’ for the period when his employment was terminated and when he was eventually paid his terminal benefits.
On the issue of payment of compensation and or reimbursement for the Claimant’s injury, the Judge held that “However, the Claimant did not lead any evidence to show that he attempted to visit any of the approved hospitals; neither did he show, from his evidence that he solicited for but was refused approval to be treated in any of the approved hospitals.
“I have had the privilege of observing the Claimant throughout this trial and I am not convinced that he is disabled or has a disabling injury, neither am I convinced from the evidence that the Claimant’s injury occurred when he was performing or actively involved in any of his assigned job roles.”
“His evidence are not fool-proofed, consequently therefore, I resolve the lone issue in favour of the Defendants. The claims of the claimant all failed. The case of the claimant is hereby dismissed. I so hold. Parties are to bear their respective costs.