The Catholic Diocese of Machakos has lost an appeal against a man who was knocked down by its vehicle four years ago.
Benjamin Mwanzia Muoki was knocked down along Machakos-Kitui road on October 11, 2015. He suffered injuries to his head and left leg, lost two teeth and his jaw was also fractured.
The complainant suffered three fractures on the lower jaw, fracture of the right cheekbone and fracture of the right temporal ear and his face was deformed.
Muoki was taken to Machakos hospital where he incurred a bill of Sh42,875 but still goes to hospital for further treatment.
Eye witness Griton Mwanzia Titus testified in court saying the Church vehicle sped off after hitting Muoki.
The church denied liability, saying the accident was as a result of contributory negligence by Muoki. The church also argued that the driver of the vehicle in question was on his own and the appellant was not liable for the actions of the driver.
Father Alexander Muthei Ndeti testified that he was driving the vehicle when a person who appeared to be drunk dashed onto the road and fell on the right side of the vehicle, the Star reports.
The court ruled that the driver was driving at a speed above that prescribed by law and it was correct to find that the church should shoulder 100 percent liability.
The court found that an award of Sh1,800,000 would be reasonable for general damages and further awarded Sh13,250 as special damages and Sh500,000 as future medical expenses.
In its appeal, the Catholic church said the court ought to have found it 30 percent negligent on liability. It also argued that the award was extremely high.
Judge D K Kemei, who handled the appeal, said, “In any event, it was the responsibility of the appellant’s driver to ensure that he drove carefully and observed other road users. The fact that he suddenly hit the respondent shows that he was driving at high speed and failed to apply brakes or swerve or do anything to avoid hitting the respondent.”
He ruled that an employer is in general liable for the acts of his employees or agents while in the course of the employer’s business or within the scope of employment.
Justice Kemei awarded Mr Muoki Sh500,000 general damages for pain and suffering, Sh500,000 for future medical expenses and Sh13,250 as special damage compensation.
The court directed that each party shall bear their own costs of the appeal while the Respondent was awarded full costs in the lower court.