PETALING JAYA: A plantation worker of Felda Global Ventures (FGV) Sdn Bhd has been awarded RM2.4 million in compensation following a horrific road crash seven years ago.
The Temerloh sessions court ruled that the lorry driver was fully liable and caused FGV employee Husaini Abu Hassan to sustain permanent injuries that included paralysis of his left hand and amputation of his left leg.
However, the identity of the foreign driver couldn’t be ascertained as he had run away from the scene after the early morning incident at the Felda Lepar Utara 11 plantation on March 12, 2015, and has not been seen since.
In view of this, judge Che Wan Zaidi Che Wan Ibrahim ruled that the transport company providing the lorry services, Tan Yee Seong Enterprise, had vicarious liability for the crash.
The company had denied liability and claimed that the Indonesian lorry driver was only an independent contractor.
In the judgment, the court held that the absence of documents did not support the argument that the driver was not the company’s employee.
“The second defendant (the company) has failed to prove that the first defendant was a contractor conducting recognisably independent business,” said Che Wan Zaidi in his written judgment released recently.
“The court has decided that the link between the first and second defendant is more akin to employer and employee,” he added.
The transport operator had also claimed that the said lorry was not in its possession.
FGV assistant manager Mukhlis Hidayat Ali Hanaphiah testified that prior to the incident, the lorry had been driven by the said driver on behalf of Tan Yee Seong Enterprise to transport oil palm fresh fruit bunches.
“The testimony by the witness that the lorry made the exit at the junction nearby the workers’ hostel rented by the second defendant, has also supported the findings that the first defendant was an employee or agent for the second defendant,” said Che Wan Zaidi.
In the 6am incident, Husaini was riding a motorcycle to work and collided with the lorry which made a sudden exit from a junction at Km65 Jalan Jerantut-Lepar Utara.
The lorry was also said to have been without a vehicle registration number.
The 43-year-old FGV employee was only able to return to work after 21 months on medical leave.
Husaini will receive a compensation of RM2,417,383.32 for special damages that included the cost of a prosthetic leg and rehabilitation, as well as loss of income.
N M Tiong & Co represented the plaintiff while Jacob Goldie SS Chew appeared on behalf of the second defendant.