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Court strikes out work compensation claim by FDW

21 January 2018

By Daisy CL Mandap

A District Court judge has dismissed a compensation claim filed by a Filipina domestic helper against her former employer because she failed to pursue her case.

The order by Judge Katina Levy handed down on Jan 10 was the result of helper Evangeline J. dela Cruz’s, failure to appear at the hearing of the case on Dec. 8.

Dela Cruz had sought compensation against her former employer, Steven John Delich, for a supposed work-related injury on May 2, 2017.

Despite being denied legal aid, she filed for employees compensation with the Labour Department on July 25 in the same year, and appeared in person at a directions hearing at the District Court on Aug. 27.

Before the next hearing set on Dec. 8, the employer informed the court through his solicitors that the Labour Department had written to him, saying the helper had withdrawn her claim.

The solicitors also told the court about getting information that dela Cruz had decided to go home.

Citing these grounds, the solicitors asked Judge Levy to order a provisional striking out of the helper’s claim, but she declined, saying the defense failed to cite any law to back up this move.

Judge Levy also said that under court rules, the applicant must withdraw her case before an order for striking out could be granted.

“Although I agree with the Solicitors that the applicant, as evidenced by the copy of the Notice she submitted to the Labour Department, clearly no longer wishes to further pursue her employees’ compensation claim, as the applicant has not filed a similar notice of withdrawal in these proceedings, it is not open to this court to order the discontinuance or striking out of the Application under O.21 of the Rules of the District Court,” said Judge Levy.

But the judge eventually decided to strike out the case for lack of prosecution after dela Cruz failed to show up for the Dec. 8 hearing, citing the need to promote “procedural economy” and ensure “fairness between the parties”.

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