Legal Articles and Guides
Personal Injury Law
The mother of a baby who lost his arm due to alleged medical negligence at the Stanger Hospital is suing the KZN MEC of Health for R7m. The matter is set down for June, notes a Sunday Tribune report.
A Durban businessman, who said he was harassed and thrown into jail several times by a policeman at the behest of controversial racehorse owner and friend of President Jacob Zuma, Roy Moodley, has won his case against the Minister of Police.
Silicosis-suffering miners, who brought a class action suit against six SA gold mining producers, should see a R9bn settlement reached within months, the chair of an industry group on the issue said. Reuters reports that Graham Briggs, chair of the Working Group on Occupational Lung Disease and former chief executive of Harmony, said the faster the companies settled, the faster compensation could be paid to the affected miners suffering from silicosis and occupational tuberculosis.
Lawyers for the Komape family have asked Limpopo High Court (Polokwane) Judge Gerrit Muller to order the payment of compensation for the grief the family suffered when Michael Komape drowned in a pit toilet at school in 2014. A News24 report notes the family is seeking more than R2m for special and constitutional damages, funeral costs, and loss of income for Michael's mother Rosina Komape, who lost her job as a domestic worker soon after the accident in January 2014 in one of the toilets at the Mahlodumela School outside Polokwane.
A octogenarian North West granny did not stand back yesterday when it came to locking horns with a judge of the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria). According to a report on the IoL site, she wants the judge to personally pay her about R1.2m which she claimed she was entitled to as he allegedly failed to act on her Road Accident Fund (RAF) claim nearly 30 years ago, when he still had his own law firm.
Retired Judge Neels Claassen has urged parties involved in medical litigation to seek mediation as an alternative to protracted court battles in negligence claims. A report in The Herald says Claassen was presenting a paper to candidates on the advantage of mediation versus litigation stemming from medical negligence by doctors and other health professionals.
Eastern Cape Judge President Selby Mbenenge, who ordered the Minister of Police to pay R560 000 for the unlawful arrest of a young man, said the primary purpose of the damages award was not to enrich the aggrieved party. The payment awarded to Onele Mkwati in the Eastern Cape High Court (Mthatha), said the judge, was to ensure the award reflected the importance of the right to personal liberty and the seriousness with which any arbitrary deprivation of personal liberty was viewed in SA law.
KZN’s Department of Health has received a judicial tongue-lashing, first for an ‘astounding’ lack of care given to a mother who gave birth to a brain-damaged baby, and then for wasting money by fighting her damages claim, says a News24 report. Acting Judge Sandhya Mahabeer, in a recent judgment, said it should have been obvious from the ‘joint minutes’ signed by medical experts representing the mother, Nokwanda Charlotte Mqadi, and the department that ‘the claim was indefensible’.
The landmark class action suit against six major gold mining companies has been postponed as the parties near a settlement agreement, notes TimesLIVE. The case was brought by thousands of mine workers seeking compensation for lung diseases such as silicosis and TB contracted while working in mines owned by African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony Gold and Sibanye Stillwater.
A settlement between thousands of sick gold miners and the mining industry is possible before the end of the year, according to one of the attorneys for the sick mineworkers, notes a GroundUp report. Upwards of 100 000 mineworkers and former mineworkers, and their dependents, are claiming damages for contracting silicosis and/or TB from exposure to dust underground.
An academic, who chose to return to his family home to deal with the trauma of being accidentally exposed to HIV, has succeeded in showing his subsequent dismissal by the Vaal University of Technology was unfair. Labour Court Judge Anton Steenkamp ruled in favour of Dr Pieter Wynand Conradie.
The owners of a Cape Town home where a toddler suffered severe brain damage after falling into the pool have won their fight to avoid paying tens of millions of rands in damages, notes a TimesLIVE report. They went to the SCA after the Western Cape High Court said they should bear two-thirds of the liability for the accident because they had been negligent in leaving the pool gate open.
The Road Accident Fund (RAF) has urged accident victims to claim directly from it, rather than turning to lawyers for assistance, says a report in The Mercury. The RAF’s Phumelela Dhlomo said the advantages of claiming directly far outweighed the disadvantages, as claims were processed a lot faster.
The Western Cape High Court has ordered Prasa to pay full damages to commuter Masibulele Rautini (27) for the serious injuries he sustained after being thrown off a fast-moving train while travelling to work in 2011. Three men armed with a gun and knife had demanded passengers’ cellphones and wallets, Rautini told the court, according to a Cape Times report.
The defendants in the Michael Komape case have already settled about R100 000 of the R3m claimed in damages by the Komape family after five-year-old Michael fell into a pit latrine at school and died. According to a Mail & Guardian Online report, the family, with the help of advocacy group Section27, brought the lawsuit in 2015 against the Department of Basic Education and the Limpopo Department of Education.