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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 16 November 2018

Paralysed Abu Dhabi construction worker seeks Dh1m compensation

A labourer, who was left paralysed when a wall collapsed on him a year ago, is seeking Dh1 million in compensation from his former employers.
Harun Talukdar’s spine was broken a year ago and the bedridden man is now seeking Dh1m compensation. Ravindranath K / The National
Harun Talukdar’s spine was broken a year ago and the bedridden man is now seeking Dh1m compensation. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // A labourer who was left paralysed more than a year ago when a wall collapsed on him is seeking Dh1 million in compensation from his former employer.

In coordination with the Bangladesh embassy in Abu Dhabi, the man’s lawyer hopes to claim the compensation at Al Rahba Court of First Instance for Harun Talukdar, 41, who suffered a broken spine.

He has been living in a farmhouse since the accident on February 22 last year. He says it has been months since anybody from the company visited him or provided him with medication.

“I approached my embassy and the court for help,” the mason said.

Mr Talukdar, who has a five-year-old son, worked with Al Dafna General Maintenance company in Abu Dhabi for three years.

He now lives in a dilapidated hut on a farm in Al Rahba, about a kilometre from Al Rahba Police Station and 50 kilometres from the capital.

The accident left him bedridden and unable to move. “I can’t even use the toilet,” he said.

He was receiving a monthly salary of Dh1,300, but it was stopped six months ago. “Six months back, I didn’t receive my full salary. I only got about Dh400 or Dh500,” he said.

“It’s been about six months, nobody from the company visited me here and I don’t have any medicine to take.”

“Due to my inability to walk I need a person around the clock to assist me for all my needs.”

Mr Talukdar’s sponsor, Balick, who refused to give his last name, from Al Dafna General Maintenance company, said: “His claims of not assisting him are false. He is lying.”

Balick insisted the company had been assisting Mr Talukdar medically and financially. “Now the matter is in court and it will decide about it,” he said.

The sponsor said he had taken Mr Talukdar to hospital only 10 days ago.

Mostofa Mohammed, a lawyer with Adil Advocates and Legal Consultant in Abu Dhabi, said: “For Harun’s physical disability and mental trauma, we have claimed Dh1m compensation for medical treatment.

“Yes, we have filed the case in Al Rahba court and the first hearing is expected during next week.

“The court will examine the case thoroughly and decide how much he finally gets. I can’t exactly say how much time it will take but I believe within six months the matter will be resolved.” The Bangladesh embassy and Mr Talukdar’s friends hired the lawyers to take the matter to court.

Arman Ullah Chowdhury, labour counsellor at the embassy, said the mission had a few meetings with the law firm about Mr Talukdar’s case.

“His condition is very fragile and needs immediate attention. We hope this will not take much time,” Mr Chowdhury said.

Mr Talukdar, whose passport, labour card and Emirates ID are retained by his employer, said: “The company insisted I go back home, but how I can return in this condition?

“This accident not only ruined my life but the life of my entire family.”

Another legal consultant, Shamsudeen Karunagappally, said: “Liability would come on both sides, the main contractor and the subcontractor.

“Once the case reaches court, it will examine all parties involved.”

anwar@thenational.ae