x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Worker who fell to his death blamed in accident

Defendant tells court he did not send employee to the roof and is not responsible.

DUBAI // An architect charged in the death of a worker who fell from a roof testified today that the victim caused the accident.

The lawyer Jamal Al Shamsi told the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours that his client, SJ, 39, had no responsibility as MJ, an Indian design engineer, went on his own to the warehouse roof, where he was not supposed to be.

Prosecutors, however, say SJ sent MJ to the roof on January 17 to check for leaks during a rainstorm. According to records, MJ noticed rain seeping through the ceiling and was told to fix the leak.

A carpenter, KS, 42, testified that MJ told him that he would climb onto the roof at about 11.30am. A few minutes later, KS saw him lying on the ground.

Police were called and MJ was taken to Rashid Hospital, where he died of injuries to his head, chest, back and abdomen.

KS told prosecutors he did not know whether SJ had ordered MJ to fix the leak.

"Your honour, we would like to maintain that the victim went on the warehouse roof on his own accord and was not instructed to do so," Mr Al Shamsi told the court. "His job does not require him to take any action or perform any repairs on the roof.

"Why should my client be held responsible for the mistake of another person?"

Dubai Municipality inspectors said the shop was not a safe working environment. The company was fined and issued a warning.

MA, an Egyptian inspector for Dubai Municipality, was scheduled to testify this morning but did not appear.

"Let it be placed on the record that a letter from the municipality states that the inspector will be on annual leave until July 26," the judge said.

The court adjourned the case to next month.

amustafa@thenational.ae