US firm pays Rs 28.7 lakh to sailor family

Chennai: A US-based shipping firm has paid over Rs 28 lakhs as compensation to the family of a sailor from Tamil Nadu who died while in its service two years ago, thanks to the intervention of Lok Adalat. With trembling hands the mother of the sailor, K Ramachandran, received the cheque for Rs 28.7 lakh from Justice Elipe Dharma Rao of Madras High Court today.

Ramachandran, belonging to a weavers` family of Palayampatti village in Ramanathapuram district, had died due to some illness on November 14, 2009 while in the service of M/s Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), Miami.

Responding to an application by the sailor`s family sent through the Lok Adalat calling upon the NCL to settle the dues, the company appointed a legal firm to attend to the matter as a result of which the amount was arrived at as full and final settlement of the death compensation.

The father and two younger brothers of the deceased were also present in the Judge`s chamber when the cheque was presented today. The memo of compromise, signed today between the claimants and Counsel for James Mackintosh and Co Private ltd JMCPL) was received by the Lok Adalat and recorded by its members.

Ramachandran fell ill within a few months after joining the cruise and was admitted to a hospital abroad and the entire medical bill was borne by the company. The parents had approached the Tamil Nadu Legal Services Authority (TNLSA) for help in the matter.

On receipt of their application of September 9, 2010 the Authority sent a letter on December 31, 2010 to NCL, calling upon the firm to settle the claim of the petitioners and also to inform the Authority in respect of the action taken regarding the settlement.