Lawyer: Family of fallen tree accident could take legal action

KOTA BARU: The family members of the three family member who were killed in a freak accident involving a fallen tree in Jalan Machang-Kota Baru near Kok Lanas last Saturday can take legal action against the local authority or Public Works Department (PWD).

Senior lawyer, Muhammad Hasif Hasan said this were among the options for the family under the Local Government Act 1976, which involves local government management.

"For instance, the victim's family can either act against the local council or the PWD, whichever that has been entrusted with taking care and maintaining greenery in the area concerned.

"It involves PWD if the tree was in an an area under the department's jurisdiction. Making sure (trees) do not cause any harm to road users is the responsiblity of local authority personnel," he said when contacted by Berita Harian.

Hasif cited an case in 2014 when a man filed a suit against the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS).

He said the man filed a suit following a road accident on Oct 6, 2010 when a tree branch fell and hit the victim while riding a motorcycle.

"At first the man filed a suit against MPS as the first defendant, then MPS applied to include the director of the Gombak PWD as the next defendant.

"The court allowed PWD to be the second defendant because the tree that caused injury to the victim was not under the responsibility of MPS maintenance, but the other party (PWD)," he said.

Three members of a family, including a five-year-old girl, were killed while two others were injured after the car they were travelling in was hit by a falling tree in Kok Lanas, Kelantan last night.

Car driver, Nik Mohd Zulmi Ramli, 44, his wife Nik Amirah Ab Rahman, 40 and their daughter Nik Aishah Azzahra died on the spot due to serious head and body injuries.

The couple other two children Nik Adilia Zulaikha, 11 and Nik Adam Zarif, 9, sustained injuries and were rushed to the Machang Hospital for treatment.

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