Bombay HC says blowouts are not force majeure, insurer must relieve Rs 1.2 crore | News from Mumbai

MUMBAI: A blowout is not an act of God but an act of human negligence, the Bombay High Court said, refusing to relieve an insurance company from paying compensation to the family of a man killed after the car in which he was sitting, having fallen over after a tire blowout.
Judge SG Dige issued an order for an appeal by New India Assurance Co Ltd against the 7 June 2016 judgment of the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Pune, ordering nearly Rs 1.25 crore with 9% interest to Makarand Patwardhan’s family to pay. On October 25, 2010, Patwardhan (38) traveled with two colleagues from Pune to Mumbai for an event. The colleague who owned the car was knowingly and recklessly speeding when the rear wheel broke and the car fell into a deep ditch, killing Patwardhan instantly.
The Bombay High Court has dismissed the lawsuit brought by New India Assurance Co Ltd to pay compensation to the family of one Makarand Patwardhan, who was killed when the car he was in overturned after a tire blowout. As an assistant manager of a private company, Patwardhan was earning nearly Rs 69,000 at the time of his death. He was the only breadwinner in the family and was survived by a wife (34), daughter (7), father (70) and mother (65).
Before the HC, the insurer said that the court had awarded exorbitant and excessive compensation. A burst tire was force majeure and not negligence on the part of the driver. But Justice Dige noted in its Feb. 17 order that the dictionary meaning of “act of God” is “an instance of uncontrollable forces of nature at work.” “It refers to a severe, unforeseen natural event for which no human being is responsible. The bursting of a tire cannot be described as force majeure. It’s an act of human negligence,” he said.
Justice Dige said that there are various reasons for tire blowouts, such as: B. high speed, too little, too much or used tires and temperature. “The driver or owner of the vehicle must check the condition of the tire before driving. A tire burst cannot be described as a natural event. It’s human negligence,” he reiterated.
Attorney Rohan Mahadik for Patwardhan’s family argued that the court considered all aspects in awarding compensation and that its judgment and order were valid and lawful. He said no witness was interviewed to prove the insurance company’s defense.
Judge Dige added, “It is significant that the complainant failed to examine the driver of the offending car to prove the cause of the tire blowout to exempt the complainant/insurance company from paying compensation.” Justice Dige found no merit in the insurer’s claim that Patwardhan’s income was considered higher, noting that his employer’s HR manager was investigated during the trial.

READ :  Florida-based Frontline withdraws from Demotech but sees BBB+ from KBRA