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19 April 2024

A person's fault causing his death... affects blood money

By Mohammed El Sadafy

The Dubai Court of Cassation accepted the appeal by an elevator maintenance company with regards to paying blood money to the family of one of its workers, and issued a ruling.

The victim was involved in committing the error that led to his death.

The company argued that the deceased's failure to fix the stand of the elevator resulted in it breaking down while he was on it, thus causing his death.

The court ruled that the blood money (diya) cannot be reduced. The payment could, however, be divided based on the magnitude of the error committed by the victim.

“The participation of the victim in the error does not exempt the accused from liability, but eases his liability when the significance of the victim’s error is considered,” the court ruled.

The Public Prosecution had charged the company owner of causing the death of the worker due to a mistake at the workplace, apart from holding the company responsible for hiring the worker without reviewing his qualifications.

The court ruled that ignorance of safety procedures also contributed to the worker’s accident while he was installing the stand, weighing one tonne.

Earlier, the Court of First Instance had issued a verdict sentencing the company owner to two months in jail along with a fine of Dh3,000 and Dh200,000 in blood money to be paid to the victim’s family.

The court later suspended the prison term.

The accused appealed the judgment before the Court of Appeal, which issued a ruling, upholding the lower court’s judgement.

Once again, the accused did not accept the ruling and challenged it before the Supreme Court, which spelt out the above ruling.

The court heard the testimony of a municipal official and another worker who was at the site at the time of the accident. Both witnesses confirmed that the victim had erred as he had failed to use safety measures such as chain or roller while installing the stand of the elevator.

The court said that the victim’s contribution to the fault does not relieve the company owner from his responsibility, but only reduces the latter’s role in the error.