The National Industrial Court, Lagos Division has ordered Lagos Travel Inn to pay N10.3m to one Mr. Emmanuel Abah, who sustained an ankle injury after being trapped by the hotel’s elevator sometime in 2013.
The court, in a judgment by Justice J.D. Peters, said the order must be complied with within 30 days of the judgment.
Abah had, in the suit filed through his lawyer, Mr. Daniel Onwe, in 2014, explained that he was trapped by the hotel’s faulty elevator in the course of his duty as a cleaner in the employment of the hotel.
He claimed that the management of the hotel had been aware of the faulty state of the elevator, which was noisy and had on several occasions trapped people, but refused to fix it.
He claimed that rather than fix the elevator, the management urged the employees to continue to use it so as not to attract the attention of visitors to the hotel.
He claimed that on November 13, 2013, while trying to take the elevator from the ground floor to clean the rooms upstairs, one of his legs was caught in the doors.
He said that as he stepped his left foot onto the floor of the elevator while lifting his cleaning materials, the elevator swiftly took off in the upward direction with the doors trapping his left leg, pulling and dangling him headlong.
He said his ankle bone was crushed in the process, which eventually caused him a permanent injury.
He claimed that after receiving treatment in a hospital with no improvement, he was advised to seek the intervention of a trado-medical bone centre at Otukpa in Benue State, where he incurred extra expenses of N286,000, and a medical balance of N40,000.
He claimed that upon being discharged from the trado-medical centre, he resumed work on July 1, 2014, and was reluctantly admitted and redeployed to the laundry section.
Abah said he subsequently applied to the hotel for a loan of N40,000 to enable him to defray the outstanding medical bill, but his application was ignored.
He said two weeks after his resumption he was eventually served with a letter terminating his appointment without any reason.
He contended in his suit that his sacking was unjustifiable and urged the court to order the hotel to pay him N30m as compensation for the injury he sustained in the course of duty and another N10m for unfair dismissal.
In his judgment, Justice Peters held that with the permanent damage done to the leg of the claimant, there was no market where he could purchase a new leg.
The court accordingly, awarded the sum of N10.3m against Lagos Travel Inn, as damages for the permanent injury suffered by Abah.