Court orders Umdoni to pay damages

Umdoni Municipality, Scottburgh

In a ground-breaking decision handed down in the Scottburgh Magistrates’ Court, Umdoni Municipality has been ordered to pay R185 000 in damages to Mrs Wendy Pretorius, as compensation for the injuries she sustained when she tripped over a lamp-post which had been left lying on the sidewalk outside the Scottburgh Library.

Mrs Pretorius suffered a badly broken arm and dislocated her other arm, in the fall.

Nearly three years after the accident, she still needs to wear a brace on her arm and has almost lost the use of that hand as a result of the damage she suffered. Umdoni Municipality had failed to defend the action brought against it by attorneys Lana Alexander and Associates, and was consequently found guilty in absentia by Magistrate Kheswa.

The final award has ended a long and frustrating wait for justice by Mrs Pretorius.

The court’s decision sets a welcome precedent for other injured parties to sue the municipality for damages incurred, or injuries sustained, as a result of the negligence of the various maintenance departments and their managers.

  AUTHOR
MSCRS Reporter

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