Injured journalist files negligence suit


KUALA LUMPUR: A senior journalist with Bernama yesterday filed a negligence suit against KL Monorail Systems Sdn Bhd and three others over an incident last year in which he was hit by a safety wheel which fell off a monorail train on a test run.  

David Chelliah, 41, is claiming RM5mil from KL Monorail Systems, Monorail Malaysia Technology Sdn Bhd, Mtrans Holdings Sdn Bhd and the director-general of railways, as compensation for the alleged negligence. 

He also wants them to pay him RM5,000 each month for future medical expenses, general damages for among others, loss of earning capacity and future earnings, and RM20,000 in special damages. 

The suit was filed by the legal firm of Shook Lin & Bok on Chelliah’s behalf at the High Court civil registry in Wisma Denmark yesterday morning. 

Chelliah, who resumed work two days ago after six months of medical leave, was present at the court registry with his wife, T. Asha Devi. 

In his suit, Chelliah claimed that he was standing under the KL Monorail’s track in Jalan Sultan Ismail at 2.50pm on Aug 16 last year. 

He said the safety wheel that came off the train struck him on his head, causing him to momentarily lose consciousness and suffer severe head and body injuries. 

He alleged that the defendants had failed to take any adequate measure to ensure the train was safe for use in public areas. 

“The defendants had failed to put in place a system that would have prevented the safety wheel from coming off and falling on pedestrians who might be standing under the elevated tracks,” he said in the statement of claim. 

Chelliah further claimed that the brain and head injuries he suffered had seriously damaged his capacity to work as a journalist and adversely affected his career advancement. 

He said that not only did he suffer from speech impediment and memory loss, his right eyesight was also affected, making it difficult to cope with field work. He said he was also getting frequent headaches as a result of the head injuries. 

The defendants have yet to be served the documents. 

KL Monorail Systems stopped its trial rides following the incident but received approval from the Government to resume testing in December last year after the company reviewed and implemented measures to include extra safety and security provisions.  

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