Court rejects Yingluck flood lawsuit

The Central Administrative Court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by 10 Nakhon Pathom residents against former prime minister Yingluck, demanding 3.7 million baht compensation for damage from alleged mismanagement of floodwaters by her government in 2011.

Also named as defendants in the case were the flood victims assistance centre, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, the then-minister of agriculture and cooperatives, the Royal Irrigation Department, the Interior Ministry, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department, the then-governor of Nakhon Pathom, the Bangkok governor and the Finance Ministry.

In the lawsuit, the defendants were accused of mismanagement by closing watergates and obstructing natural waterways, causing flooding in parts on Nakhon Pathom and damage to life and property.

The court dismissed the case on the grounds that between June and October 2011 the northern part of Thailand was hit by many tropical storms and the monsoon.  Augmented by high tides, massive flooding occurred in many parts of the country. 

Moreover, all of the country's dams held a record high level of water.  Despite careful discharging of water from the dams' reservoirs, a huge volume of water flowed form the North to the Central region, flooding nearly all industrial estates and vast areas of rice fields.

Measures were taken to prevent the inner part of Bangkok, which is the country's economic centre,  from flooding.

The court said the then-government had taken every possible measure to prevent and mitigate the flooding indiscriminately.  Households affected by the floods were paid 5,000 baht each as compensation.  Necessary assistance was provided for the affected people.

Aisoon Wiphu-assathada, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, said he would consult his clients about whether to take the case to the Supreme Administrative Court.

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