Record Rs 1.9cr payout for lift mishap victim

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 17 Januari 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The national consumer panel has ordered a record compensation of Rs 1.89 crore to the father of a Khar-based 25-year-old man who died in an elevator mishap in his Andheri office in 2005.

On May 10, 2005, Rohan Pai, who worked with an airline, was entering a lift of his office building when it suddenly moved up despite the doors being open. Rohan's head got caught in the lift while his body was outside. He was rescued and taken to a hospital but died of the injuries.

The amount includes Rs five lakh for the suffering endured, Rs 50,000 towards loss of consortium (deprivation of benefits of a family relationship) and Rs 50,000 as costs of litigation apart from Rs 1.17 crore calculated as the loss of income from the man's future earning capacity.

The total amount carries an interest at the rate of six per cent from 2006, the year in which the complaint was filed. "There can be no loss for the parents bigger than losing a young son, in the advanced age of their life. Their life can never be the same again. A just and reasonable compensation can only give them a financial succour, which the son would have provided, had he remained alive," the commission observed while awarding the compensation.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed the owners of the multi-storey building Bhagwati House at Andheri to pay 25 per cent of the compensation amount, while the elevator maintenance company Care Elevators and Engg Co, to pay the remaining amount to the man's father, PG Pai.

Pai told the commission that the lift was out of order that day and a complaint was lodged with the elevator maintenance company at about 10.00 am. However, neither the company nor the building management displayed any conspicuous notice or warning on any floor of the building alerting users about this. Alleging negligence, Pai filed the complaint.

Denying the building's contention that Rohan and the building owners did not share a consumer-service provider relationship under the Consumer Protection Act, the commission said that since he was an employee of a company that paid an amount for using the lifts, he too was a consumer. Further the commission observed that from the evidence, it was obvious that the maintenance personnel had arrived in the building only at 11.50 am and as such there were no warning boards put up anywhere on the premises.

"It is imperative that the service provider puts directly or through the maintenance agency such warning boards on each and every floor of the building and removes those boards only after the fault is attended to and the lift becomes functional," the commission said. It also observed that the maintenance company was silent as to why the lift moved suddenly despite the door being open at that time.

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