21 million baht lawsuit filed against resort after man trampled to death by elephant

photo via ThaiReference

Almost a year has passed since an elephant trampled a man to death at a hotel resort in the Isaan province Nakhon Ratchasima. Today, a lawyer, authorised by the man’s wife, has filed a lawsuit amounting to 21 million baht in damages against the resort.

53 year old Raja Thiraphitthayatrakul was trampled to death by an elephant which came loose while he was feeding it in front of the Jungle House Khaoyai resort in Nakhon Ratchasima in northeast Thailand on April 15, 2021.

His wife, Sumalee Thiraphitthayatrakul, said the hotel hasn’t given her a single baht since her husband’s tragic death almost a year ago. Sumalee said she has faced a year of hardship since she is a housewife with two children who are still studying.

Shortly after the incident the hotel presented a wreath to her family and took place in discussions with them at Mu Si Police Station, but hasn’t provided any financial support. Sumalee authorised lawyer Kririkrit Chothitapipat to file a lawsuit with the Sikhio Provincial Court for damages amounting to 21 million baht. Sumalee said she wants the lawsuit to set a social example to prevent this kind of incident from happening again.

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Raja Thiraphitthayatrakul was a scholar specialising in sanitation systems, especially in the treatment of wastewater which is a problem in large cities. Sumalee said he was a good person who loved to help others.

The elephant’s trainer, or mahout, said that the female elephant named Cherry had never been violent before and regularly gave people rides. The trainer had tied up Cherry near the road while mowing a nearby lawn. When they returned, Raja had been trampled to death.

The mahout has also faced hardship and unemployment since the incident as the hotel said the elephant and mahout were not welcome to work there anymore. The mahout told the Bangkok Post that people must not approach any elephant if their owner is not present. He said elephants are likely to attack strangers, especially if they are in a bad mood.

SOURCE: Khaosod | Bangkok Post

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