A third-year student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology (JKUAT) has been awarded Ksh24.4 million as compensation after a road accident in 2014 left him permanently disabled.
Court documents revealed that Brian Muchiri was involved in an accident in 2014 when he was traveling in a matatu from Nakuru town heading to Rongai. The matatu was then hit by a lorry coming from the opposite direction.
Muchiri accused the company affiliated with the lorry of negligence arguing that the vehicle was overspeeding hence was unable to avert the accident.
He sought compensation for medical treatment including services of a nurse which cost around Ksh12,000 a month, wheelchair expenses and special damages.
A three-bench judge of the Court of Appeal upheld the previous ruling by the High court which had ordered the company to pay the student Ksh28.9 million
The judges, however, reduced the compensation amount to Ksh24.4 million arguing that the compensation amount was set to a large degree.
” Having considered the various authorities that were cited by both parties and bearing in mind the award of Ksh7,200,000 as loss of future earning capacity, which is a relevant consideration in the assessment of general damages, we think the award of Ksh8,000,000 was inordinately high,” the judges ruled.
Muchiri had sued the company, its owner, and the driver of the lorry for negligence arguing that the injuries sustained after the accident caused his studies to be derailed. He is pursuing a degree in Purchasing and Supplies Management at JKUAT, Juja Campus.
This led to a hearing at the High Court which ruled in favour of Muchiri. In the ruling, the court argued that due to the injuries, the student’s earning capacity was hampered.
The company was thus ordered to pay Ksh8 million as general damages, Ksh7.2 million as damages for loss of earning capacity, Ksh3.9 million for nurse aid and Ksh4.3 million for future medical expenses.
Other compensation involved Ksh3.9 million for medical supplies and equipment, Ksh250,000 for an electric wheelchair, Ksh350,000 for an electric bed and Ksh885,844 for special damages.
This amounted to Ksh28.9 million. Dissatisfied with the decision, the company appealed to the court of Appeal claiming that the amount set as compensation was exorbitant.