A FORMER employee of MIC Institute of Technology, who was injured on the job when he fell from a chair in 2013, has been awarded close to $.2 million by the High Court.
Presiding at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday, Justice Ricky Rahim ordered MIC to pay Irving Williams a grand total of $181,776 in damages and loss of earnings compensation due to the injuries he suffered.
The judge found that it was MIC’s negligence in failing to provide a safe place of work that resulted in the incident.
“The court therefore finds that there was no explanation provided by the defendant for the collapse of the back of the chair and it does not accept for reasons set out hereinafter that any explanation had to do with the claimant placing his feet on a table.
“The defendant has failed therefore to provide an explanation particularly in light of the evidence that the defendant never instructed the workers in the proper use of the new chair with three levels of resistance. This could have easily been accomplished by training or appropriately placed signage,” stated the judge.
Williams had been employed as an electrical training instructor. Sometime between March and April 2013, MIC outfitted its staff lunch room with reclining and roll-able armchairs which were not particularly assigned to any staff member.
In his claim, Williams stated that on May 23, 2013, he went to the lunch room and sat on one of the chairs before it toppled over resulting in him falling on his back.
He stated he immediately felt severe pain in his back, shoulder and neck.
Because of this, he was made to and continues to seek medical treatment for the permanent injuries he sustained.
Because of the incident, Williams said he suffers daily from pain in his back, neck and shoulders. Further, he is unable to bend, lift heavy objects or move about freely without experiencing severe pain.
In its defence however, MIC agreed that it owed a duty of care to its employees, but denied that it was negligent. Instead, it contended that Williams was the one who cause the incident by his own negligence after he sat on the chair and placed his feet on a desk in front of him causing the chair to topple over.