Widow of man who died of an electric shock not awarded compensation
Court acquits Azzopardi brothers of breaching fishing regulations charges
The widow and son of a construction worker who died tragically in 2005 after suffering an electric shock were not awarded any compensation since he had not been wearing protective clothing at the time.
Mary Ann Borg and her son Daniel put forward a case against Enemalta and Charles Bonello, the man who was managing the site with her husband Joseph Borg when the latter died.
The fatal incident happened on 21 October, 2002 on the roof of a garage on Triq il-Maqdes Ruman, Mtarfa.
Judge Silvio Meli said that Borg had gone there to lay concrete on the roof.
On the site there was Bonello who was applying concrete through a drum and Vince Caruana was operating the ready mix machine.
Court appointed experts Professor Carmel Pule and architect Richard Aquilina presented a report which concluded that the accident occurred when the steel cable of the electric crane became live after hitting two bare electricity wires and began to pass electricity through the concrete drum.
Borg, who had not been wearing protective clothing such as rubber boots, acted as a conductor and pathway for the electricity to pass through. A court yesterday acquitted two directors of a local fishing company of accusations of breaching a number of fishing regulations, while the captain of a ship was found guilty of failing to ensure that the vessel carried the correct licensing in August of this year.
Magistrate Joseph Mifsud ruled that the charges should have been brought against Mario and Anthony Azzopardi in their capacity as directors of Hannibal Fishing Ltd instead of in their personal capacity.
The magistrate also noted that no representative from the Registry of Companies had been summoned to exhibit a copy of the memorandum and articles of association of Hannibal Fishing Limited in order to establish the identity of the company’s directors.
For this reason the court acquitted them of all charges brought against them.
The court said it expected better coordination between the police and the Fisheries Department in future cases “rather than expecting the court to attempt to do the work they were meant to do.”
“It is tantamount to contempt for a party to expect the Court to leaf through 79 pages of regulations .... to make out which regulation has been violated as alleged by the Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture,” the magistrate said.
The court found that the captain, Tawfik Elnaggar, was applying for the renewal of his licence with the Department of Fisheries at the time of the arrest.
He was therefore found guilty of not having a valid licence with the correct identification marking on the vessel, and was fined €3,000.