Road Maintenance Company Ordered to Pay RM721,000 to Accident Victim

The Johor Bahru Sessions Court ordered a road maintenance company to pay RM721,000 in compensation to an accident victim after he hit a pothole and crashed.

The 49-year-old male victim was injured after crashing due to hitting an unmaintained pothole in Pasir Gudang, near Taman Kota Masai, three years ago.

The judge, Sazlina Safie, made the decision after finding that Razali @ Mohd Leey Subeh, as the plaintiff (the party issuing the suit) successfully proved his claim against Safwa Global Venture (M) Sdn Bhd. Safwa Global Venture is the company appointed by the state government to maintain the road.

He filed a lawsuit against the company and the state government as the first and second respondents, respectively, for the injuries and damages he suffered as a result of the incident.

Judge Sazlina said, “The court can conclude that from the date of the incident (11 Feb 2021) until the excavation works on 29 September 2022, the hole remained at the scene without any repair, as admitted by all the witnesses.

“The court found that the issue of potholes at the scene of the incident had been proven and admitted by the defendant.

“The company also presented contradictory statements in their defense when they initially claimed that they did not see any potholes, but later discovered potholes caused by public utility works,” he said in the grounds of judgment published on the judicial website yesterday.

He said the company argued that the hole was not their responsibility because it belonged to the utility company and should have been maintained by a subcontractor or other party.

“Despite the allegation, the company failed to initiate any third-party proceedings against any of the contractors or related parties in this suit.

“The court also found it reasonable that the victim failed to notice the pothole due to limited visibility and insufficient lighting in the residential area at the time of the incident,” he said.

Therefore, the court believed that the defendant had failed in their duty to maintain the road in question and that they were liable to the plaintiff under Section 7(3) of the Government Proceedings Act 1956 (GPA).

“Although this case refers to the government and the GPA, it is a basic principle that must be applied to the parties responsible to ensure that the roads provided are safe for users.

“Therefore, the Court awarded the plaintiff RM352,947.33 for special damages and RM368,000 for general damages,” he said.

However, the plaintiff will not receive the compensation yet because the company will file an appeal against the judgment in the High Court.

Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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