Kenyan Court Awards Woman Sh50 Million Over Road Accident on Wayaki Way

Updated: November 13, 2013

A 30-year-old woman has been awarded damages close to Sh44 million for injuries in a car accident in 2003. Casey Adisa Marenge was awarded special damages for pain and suffering, costs after the accident and loss of future earnings.

Casey sued the vehicle owners Lucy Wanja and Mark Karani. It is not clear what their relation is with Jonathan Katana who was driving the car. At the time, Casey was 20 years and about to study business at City of London College.

Casey and her friends were coming from Parklands Sports Club at around 5am on the morning of September 27 when their driver lost control along Waiyaki Way. The vehicle veered off the road and overturned.

Casey told the court that Katana was speeding and that they had unsuccessfully tried to make him slow down. Two of her friends died on the spot.

She was rushed to MP Shah Hospital where she was admitted for six weeks before being flown to Cape Town in South Africa for specialized surgery with metal implants and bone grafts. She was in intensive care unit for one month.

Medical reports tabled in court show that she is now paralysed from the neck downwards and requires a permanent caregiver. Her mother had to quit her well-paying job to attend to Casey.

Justice Hatari Waweru was told that Casey would be spending most of her time in bed and occasionally in a wheelchair. There were eight passengers inside the car instead of the normal eight.

Justice Waweru said that any passenger boarding an overloaded vehicle should “bear some measure of contributory negligence”. In his judgment, Justice Waweru said that Casey’s body cannot be renewed whatever monetary award she may get. However, the money “will certainly go some way in making her life that more tolerable”.

“The pain and suffering that the plaintiff had to undergo during her one year of treatment is simply unimaginable. The distress and mental anguish at the cruelty of it all, the useful life of a vibrant 20-year-old suddenly coming to an end. She is in bed and only occasionally on a wheelchair,” he said.

Justice Waweru awarded her Sh7.5 million for pain and suffering and Sh28,726,00 for future medical expenses including physiotherapy, drugs and a special bed and mattress.

She was also awarded Sh4.3 million for loss of future earnings and Sh7.9 million for special damages and future expenses. The Judge said that all the awards will be reduced by 10 percent for boarding an overloading vehicle.

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