Court awards farmer $45k in damages

A company that tarsealed a road in Sigatoka has been ordered to pay $45,577 to a farmer for the damage of crop because of flooding. Chief Justice Kamal Kumar found China Gezhouba Group (Fiji branch) Company Ltd had a duty of care towards Liangui Wang of Simla, Lautoka, trading as Fresh Green in Valley Rd, Sigatoka.

The court found the company was contracted by the Fiji Roads Authority and was in the process of installing culverts near the Fresh Green farm when heavy rain caused soil and gravel left next to the culvert to wash into the drain, blocking water from flowing through the culvert.

This caused flooding on farms owned by Fresh Green. “Defendant (China Gezhouba Group (Fiji branch) Company Ltd) could have easily and without much expense created a temporary fence around the gravel/soil or covered the gravel/soil with fine mesh which, of course, defendant failed and/or neglected to do,” stated Justice Kumar in his December 8 ruling.

Justice Kumar also ordered China Gezhouba Group (Fiji branch) Company Ltd pay $3000 in court costs to Fresh Valley.

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