Crash: Court orders airline to pay Deji Falae’s widow N246m compensation

Crash: Court orders airline to pay Deji Falae’s widow N246m compensation

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 6:48 pm

The late Deji and Ese Falae

Akin Kuponiyi

Reprieve came the way of widow of Deji Falae, son of Chief Olu Falae, who died in the ill-fated Associated Airline plane crash in Lagos on October 3, 2013 on Wednesday as a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos granted all her claims against the aviation company.

In her judgment that lasted for about 2 hours 19 minutes, the presiding judge, Justice Hadizat Shagari said, “from the evidence of the principal witness Ese Falae, the window, the fact of the case speak for itself the first defendant, Associated Airline, and the second defendant,  Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority  cannot exonerate themselves from the circumstances surrounding the crash of the Aircraft that claimed the life of Deji Falae.

Mrs Falae and her three children had dragged the airline to court demanding for compensation in the sum of N245.5million which they calculated their bread winner who was killed in the plane crash would have made in 15 years, less living expenses, cash discount and the statutory limit of one hundred thousand dollars or in the alternative the sums of N113,277,750, £160,740 and $19,000.

Deji Falae, a legal practitioner was the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Ondo state, Nigeria when he died he died in the Associated Aviation Nigeria Limited plane crash that took off on 3 October, 2013 from Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos to Akure.

In specific terms of damages, the plaintiffs claimed that as at the time of the death of the deceased, he was making about N10million annually from his law firm practice while as a commissioner in Ondo state, he received the sum of N5 million annually as employment income.

He also made N20million annually from his building and construction business. A total of N8.750million was expended annually by the deceased as his living expenses and that would have made N262.5 million in fifteen years.

The widow averred further that as the bread winner, the deceased until his death paid the rent of a five-bedroom duplex at Dolphin Estate Lagos where they lived with him, and since his death, the burden of paying the rent has been on her.

The plaintiffs argued that this wouldn’t have been if the deceased was alive. The deceased would have equally paid the school fees of his children to the completion of their education.

They further argued that it was the practice of the deceased to pay all expenses of the plaintiffs for at least a five-day vacation outside Nigeria every year.

The plaintiffs also said she incurred the sum of N2.5million as expenses during the funeral of the deceased carried out on 14th November, 2013 which would not have been incurred had the plaintiffs not by the defendant’s wrongful act, neglect or default caused the death of the deceased.

The plaintiffs said she also incurred legal practitioners’ fees in the sum of N5 million in prosecuting the suit.

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