Despite filing a RM400,000 lawsuit against Carrefour for injuries sustained due to a faulty drill, the High Court only awarded V Sundrum RM10,000 with no costs.
Adding salt to injury, the Kuala Lumpur High Court merely awarded him RM10,000 for his injury despite filing a RM400,000 lawsuit.
Relating his ordeal, V Sundrum, 53, said he purchased the MAC 500W impact drill in May 2005 from a Carrefour hypermarket branch in Johor Bahru after seeing its advertisement in an English daily.
The product, which was certified by the Energy Commission, however, went bust when Sundrum used the appliance the following day.
“The drill bit bent and hit my face, injuring my left eye and ear,” he said.
He then sought treatment at the Puteri Medical Centre after being assured by Carrefour that it would bear the cost but nothing came forth.
Though his eye recovered, Sundrum, who was a former sales manager for a toy company, lost his hearing in the left ear, rendering him dependent on a hearing aid.
Angered by the accident, Sundrum then checked the details of the drill with the Energy Commission in June 2005 and found that its registration number was false.
“The registration number attached to the drill ’3930/02′ was registered for a Hyundai television receiver,” he said.
Sundrum then urged the Energy Commission to take action against Carrefour for allegedly using a fake registration number on its product.
“However, the commission has yet to take any action against the hypermarket,” he added.
In the same month, Sundrum also took his case to the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC), an agency under the Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Cooperatives Ministry, but was advised by the agency to seek legal redress.
“And the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) also advised me to file a law suit against Carrefour,” he said.
In search of justice
In May 2006, Sundrum filed a lawsuit with the Kuala Lumpur High Court against Carrefour claiming RM400,000 in damages.
However, the court’s verdict on September 2010 was less than satisfactory for Sundrum, who is now registered with the Welfare Department as a disabled man.
“I was only offered RM10,000 for the injury I sustained in my left eye. I was not offered any compensation for the injury to my ear,” said Sundrum.
The reason, he said, was because the court refused to accept the medical reports issued by Kuala Lumpur General Hospital (HKL) and Puteri Medical Centre pertaining to the injury to his ear.
Sundrum, who is currently unemployed, related that he was also badly represented by his counsel during the court proceedings, a lawyer recommended by Fomca itself.
He said the court even asked him to demonstrate how he used the drill after the defendant’s lawyers queried his ability in operating the power tool.
“I’m a certified technician. Besides, the drill is commonly used at homes so there is no need for anyone to have a special qualification to handle the drill,” he added.
Sundrum then filed an appeal in November 2010.
“I’m now jobless and yet to receive justice. If I fail, I do not know what else to do,” he said.