BY SAM ALFAN.
Kenya Power has been ordered to pay Sh2 million to a minor who suffered permanent disability after being electrocuted.
Justice Kiarie wa Kiarie ordered the power utility company to pay the minor for the suffering she underwent, pain and future medical expenses.
The amount is an enhancement from an award of Sh140,000 granted to the minor by a Mbita Senior Resident Magistrate.
“After considering the injuries sustained by the minor and the prognosis given by the doctor, I will set aside the award by the learned trial magistrate and substitute it with an award of Sh.2, 000,000 general damages,” judge Kiarie ruled.
The court was told the minor lost a lot of blood that he had to be transfused, suffered lots of pain, lost of 20% of his body skin, change of behaviour due to the electric shock and he was very irritable and would sometimes talk to himself.
The judge noted that the minor was still undergoing counselling due to the ugly scars on the body, was getting physiotherapy due to the impaired movement of the right elbow joint and also suffered a total of 8% partial incapacity.
The minor sued Kenya Power after touching live electricity wires, which had dislodged from a pole. A Mbita magistrate had awarded the minor with Sh140,000 but he moved to the High Court seeking enhancement of the award.
In the appeal, the minor argued that the trial magistrate erred by awarding him damages that was inordinately too low in the circumstances and not commensurate with the loss suffered.
The minor further contended that the magistrate erred in failing to take into account his submissions, which had articulated relevant issues of law thereby arriving at an erroneous decision.
“The trial magistrate misapprehended the evidence on record in particular the permanent disability as assessed and failed to properly and exhaustively evaluate the evidence or based on no evidence,” the minor argued.
The court heard that the magistrate erred by adopting a wrong approach in computation of the general damages and by departing from the trends contained in the authorities cited by the minor, thus occasioning a miscarriage of justice.
According to the minor, magistrate erred in law and fact by disregarding future medical expenses.
He said the magistrate failed to properly evaluate the evidence on record thus reaching an erroneous decision by awarding general damages of Sh.140, 000 which he said was inordinately low.