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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

M’sian awarded compensation after winning claim against local council over damage caused by potholes

NewsM'sian awarded compensation after winning claim against local council over damage caused...

A man was awarded compensation of RM2,980 for winning a case against the Kajang municipal council (MPKj) after his car was damaged due to a pothole.

According to FMT, Fahrurrazi Hamid took the MPKj to court and demanded compensation of RM3,580 after he drove into a pothole while driving along Jalan Sungai Long near Budiman Business Park, damaging the car’s rear left tyre and rim.

The incident took place in September 2020.

After failing to search for a rim with identical design, he had to replace all four rims and two tyres at a total cost of RM3,580.

He then filed a claim to MPKj, but was disappointed as he was given an offer of only RM1,430 from Takaful Malaysia Berhad, the local council’s insurer, as compensation for the cost of one tyre and one rim.

Unsatisfied with the offer, he lodged a claim at the Tribunal for Consumer Claims only to be informed that the tribunal has no jurisdiction over the matter.

He then filed for a small claim in the Kajang magistrates’ court and the trial took place on 15 July this year.

Representing himself in court, Fahrurrazi explained that he had to replace all four rims and it cost him RM450 each for second-hand ones. He added that he couldn’t find a rim with a similar design to replace the damaged one and that the second-hand rims were also cheaper than purchasing four new rims, which would have cost RM2,750, or RM687.50 each.

Meanwhile, MPKj was represented by legal officer Muhidin Mahmud and he said that the municipal council has taken the necessary action to maintain all roads under its purview and denied liability.

He also claimed that Fahrurrazi’s reckless driving was the cause of the incident, as evident from the damaged rim and tyre.

Muhidin added that the claim for the replacement of all four rims was unjust enrichment since there was only one rim damaged.

However, Magistrate Noor Firdaus Rosli decided that MPKj was fully liable for the damage caused to Fahrurrazi’s car.

“Looking at the photos produced by the plaintiff, there was indeed a hole,” he said, adding that it was clear that the road was not properly maintained.

“As to whether the plaintiff contributed to the damage, my finding is negative. The incident took place at night, and any reasonable man could not be expected to notice and sway their vehicle to avoid the hole,” Noor Firdaus said.

As for the claim of unjust enrichment, Noor Firdaus said it would be preposterous that a car could be fixed with rims of numerous designs.

However, the magistrate disallowed the claim for the additional tyre as it had not been justified.

Let’s hope this case will be a lesson for the authorities to fix potholes promptly to avoid unwanted accidents. What do you think about this? Share your thoughts!

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