The High Court in Meru has awarded Sh15.7 million compensation to a schoolboy who was electrocuted while herding cattle in 2015.
Justice Francis Gikonyo ordered Kenya Power to pay the man, who is now 21 years of age, a sum of Sh15,729,500 as damages for pain, suffering, and loss of amenities, medical expenses incurred, doctor’s fees, and future medical expenses.
“It is trite law that special damages must be specifically pleaded and proved. The plaintiff pleaded special damages for which he produced receipts in support. Contrary to the contention by the defendant, all the receipts produced by the plaintiff bore revenue stamps,” the judge stated.
Court documents indicate the young man who was 16 years at the time touched a live electric wire that was lying loosely on the ground after tripping and falling while grazing cattle at Kilemi/Kautine, Antubetwe Location in Igembe North District in October 2015.
“As a result, he suffered electrocution and sustained severe injuries namely; 5th-degree burns of the right forearm, 4th degree burns to the left distal shin, ankle, foot, 3rd-degree burns to the right anxilla, amputation stump of the right forearm, scars over anxilla, left shin, ankle, scars over the foot, stiffness of the ankle joint with obvious valgus deformity, Loss of right upper limb,” court documents stated.
In addition to having his arm amputated, the boy was also forced to drop out of school.
“The loss of the right upper limb has led to severe debilitation and made him drop out of school since he could no longer write leading to an extensive period as an outpatient,” the court observed.
The plaintiff a prosthesis costing Sh8 million was recommended for him to help him conduct his daily activities. Further, maintenance of the prosthesis is estimated to cost Sh1 million.
Justice Gikonyo accused Kenya Power of negligence.
Kenya Power submitted that the plaintiff was negligent in failing to ensure his own safety.
The power utility firm argued the student should be held 100 percent liable. In disputing liability, Kenya Power submitted that the plaintiff failed to discharge his “burden of proof” in respect of the electric wires loosely hanging.
But Justice Gikonyo said defence was the one incapable of disapproving the evidence adduced by the plaintiff that the company was negligent in leaving a live wire on the ground.