Court orders Mandela National Stadium to compensate woman over broken leg

Wednesday September 30 2020
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The court has awarded Ms Gakumba Shs7,784,000 million as special damages and Shs3.5 million as general damages.

By Juliet Kigongo

The High Court has ordered Mandela National Stadium Ltd to pay one of its guests about Shs10m as compensation for the injuries she sustained that led to the breaking of her leg.

In her law suit, Ms Jossy Gakumba sued the stadium demanding for a compensation for injuries she sustained on July 1, 2016 when she fell into a dangerous and uncovered manhole and broke her leg at the Stadium where she had gone to attend a wedding ceremony.

High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana ruled that as a guest at a wedding, the stadium owed Ms Gakumba a duty of care to ensure the premises were safe.

"The least standard of care expected of the defendant (stadium) in this case was to put up warning signs notifying the guests of the uncovered manhole to avoid injuries like the one the plaintiff (Ms Gakumba) suffered or sustained," Justice Ssekaana held.

The court awarded Ms Gakumba Shs7,784,000 million as special damages and Shs3.5 million as general damages.

"In these circumstances the plaintiff was temporarily incapacitated, hospitalised and required extra support to do her usual day to day activities. To that extent I find the award of Shs3.5m sufficient general damages," the judge held.

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Court also awarded Ms Gakumba costs of 60 percent citing that the matter ought to have been filed in Chief Magistrate's court.

"This court discourages forum shopping in the High Court even though it has unlimited original jurisdiction," the judge warned.

Although Ms Gakumba had had sought special damages of Shs 80m , court ruled that the evidence brought showed the amount of medical expenses incurred was Shs 7,784,100 and in another evidence it was not sufficient to prove pecuniary loss suffered thus leaving the rest claims speculative.

Court records show that Ms Gakumba sued by National Stadium over negligence for leaving a manhole that had no cover without putting any warning signs.

Court records further show that Ms Gakumba was hospitalised for two months at Mengo  Hospital which led to the collapsing of her businesses thus losing support for her family and dependants.

However in their defense, the stadium which presented  its managing director Mr Jamil Sewanyana Mpagi as a witness  contended that it is not liable in negligence to Ms Gakumba since she had to prove that she was at stadium legally for it to warrant her protection.

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