Indorama refutes allegations of neglect, says Depreye demanded N12m for native treatment

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· Says company still open to amicable resolution

 By Helen Chimezie

A multinational corporation in Eleme near Port Harcourt has denied allegations and insinuations by one of its injured indirect workers saying the said worker rejected expert medical opinion to be done with N1.9m preferring native treatment and compensation he put at N12m.


The Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Limited has refuted the report of Mr David Depreye, who had on Wednesday, 31st January 2024, addressed some journalists alleging that Indorama has abandoned him without mercy after a workplace accident he sustained on 23rd December, 2020.

The rebuttal issued by the Indorama’s Head of Corporate Communications, Dr Jossy Nkwocha was titled ‘David Depreye: Indorama’s side of the story’. The press statement clarifies that “On 23rd December, 2020, Mr. Depreye, a Masher employed by SPEO Nigeria Limited and deployed to Indorama bulk loading bay, sustained injury on his two legs while at work in IFL complex. Indorama responded immediately by providing first aid medical treatment at the company’s clinic within the complex. He was thereafter transferred at the expense of Indorama to SPEO retainer hospital – Rehoboth Medical Service Hospital – where orthopedic medication was administered.

“In view of the fact that SPEO was at the time of the accident not registered with National Social Insurance Trust Fund(NSITF), he could not avail himself of the benefits accruable to an employee who suffered workplace accident as provided under the Employee Compensation Act,”

Dr Nkwocha revealed that on compassionate grounds, Indorama took over the medical bills of Mr. Depreye and ensured that his salary is being paid up to date.

“After being hospitalized for over a year at which time he went through corrective surgery on the legs at the expense of his employer SPEO and Indorama, he was eventually discharged but continued treatment on outpatient basis.

“This was the situation when in March 2023 Mr. Depreye filed a lawsuit at the National Industrial Court Port Harcourt requesting the Court for firstly an order compelling his employer SPEO and Indorama to provide proper medical attention to his fractured leg and secondly to pay a total sum of Eight Million Naira as compensation plus Five Hundred Thousand Naira as Legal Fees.

“Upon being served with the court process, we invited Mr. Depreye and his lawyer to a meeting to resolve the matter amicably. In attendance was the Managing Director of SPEO and his lawyer. At that meeting on 19th April 2023 it was observed that there was a need to have further treatment to correct the surgery earlier conducted by Rehoboth Medical Service Hospital. The Claimant and SPEO identified University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) as the hospital where the corrective surgery will be carried out.

“It was also agreed that the Claimant, his lawyer together with SPEO’s MD and his Lawyer should go to the UPTH for medical appraisal and obtain the cost implication of the final surgery,” Dr Nkwocha explained.

He further narrated that Depreye and his lawyer reported back at a second meeting in the complex that the total cost of corrective surgery would be about One Million Nine Hundred Thousand Naira. At this stage, according to Dr Nkwocha, Mr. Depreye said he does not want surgery anymore but traditional treatment in his village and that the money for treatment and compensation should be handed over to him. He then demanded for Twelve Million Naira in full and final settlement of all claims against the eight million naira he was requesting the court to grant him.

Dr Nkwocha explained that although Indorama is not the direct employee of Mr. Depreye and therefore not ordinarily liable for his treatment, nonetheless, Indorama offered to pay him Five Million Naira in full and final settlement of all claims but Depreye refused,  threatening that he will meet the company in court.

When the suit came up on 24th October, 2023 his lawyer informed the court that parties were exploring out of court settlement and applied for adjournment to enable the parties conclude. The lawsuit was adjourned to 4th December, 2023. On that day, the Judge informed the court of his transfer from Port Harcourt and that the case would be assigned to a new Judge.

“It was against this background that Mr. Depreye rushed to the press to make spurious allegations against the company with a view to tarnishing the hard earned reputation of Indorama,” Dr Nkwocha said.

The Indorama Head of Corporate Communications further disclosed that Mr. Depreye who is neither on medical leave nor currently hospitalized, and the medical reports have not shown that he is unfit for work; has since his discharge from the hospital over a year ago, refused to turn up at the Indorama’s complex for work, while Indorama has for three years since his accident paid his salary and allowances till date.

Nkwocha however revealed that “Notwithstanding this umbrage, Indorama, on compassionate ground has invited Mr. Depreye and his lawyer to a meeting scheduled for Monday 5th February 2024 in the continuing search for an amicable resolution.”

Meanwhile, Depreye had on Wednesday in his narration to journalists alleged negligence on the part of Indorama since his accident, while appealing that the company should treat him in a better hospital and remove the iron in his legs because it is causing pus discharge.

He also appealed that the company should compensate him, so that he can start his life afresh, as he has been suffering.

“Since after the accident, I have been suffering. I have used all my money to work on my legs. Presently, the iron in my leg is causing pus discharge, so I cannot do anything”, Depreye had on Wednesday narrated.

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