The family of a deceased employee of Anglogold Ashanti is suing the mining giant for negligence.
The plaintiffs which include Joyce Baffour, wife; and Akosua Abrafi, mother, are claiming $6.5 million from Anglogold over the death of George Emil Baffour, who was an engineer at the company.
In their suit before an Accra High Court (Labour Division), the plaintiffs claim that negligence on the part of Anglogold Ashanti led to the death of Enimil Baffour, who left behind three infant children.
They are therefore claiming special damages of the cedi equivalent of $6,500,000.00 for the loss of the late engineer, as well as general damages for alleged “mental distress, consortium, loss of love companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace and moral support.”
The plaintiffs also claimed “an amount equivalent to 60 month’s earnings of the deceased under the Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1987.”
In their statement of claim filed late last month, the plaintiffs averred that the deceased was retrenched on October 31, 2014 and re-engaged on November 14, 2014 for one year in his capacity as mechanical engineer attached to Anglogold’s Feasibility Study (Engineering) Department at the Obuasi Mine.
They claimed that on October 22, 2015, the deceased was selected as part of a team of Anglogold Ashanti Ghana and Randgold Resources Limited that had entered into investment agreement to redevelop the Obuasi Mine and to go underground in a conveyor attached to Anglogold’s Adansi Underground Mine at Obuasi.
According to the plaintiffs, Anglogold officials telephoned Joyce Baffour, wife of the deceased at about 11:00 am on October 22, 2015 to inform her that her husband had been involved in a fatal accident in the underground mine.
The plaintiffs claimed that it took about seven hours before the deceased lifeless body was retrieved and deposited at Anglogold Ashanti Hospital morgue.
They averred that a police and an autopsy report later revealed that the engineer died when their conveyor submerged, and the autopsy report identified the cause of death as “asphyxia” due to drowning.
According to the plaintiffs, the engineer died “by reason of the negligence and/or breach of duty on the part of the defendant, its servants, agents and assigns.”