HIGH COURT OP LESOTHO
matter of :
by the Hon. Chief Justice, Mr. Justice T.S. Cotran on the 25th day of
action the plaintiff sued the defendant claiming the sum of
M12,819.57 under four heads:
for total loss of sight of one eye as a result of an assault by the
500 Pain and suffering,
19.57 Hospital and Medical expenses.
defendant entered an appearance to defend but filed no plea and the
action was set down by plaintiff's attorney for hearing
on 26th April
1982 after notice was given to defendant's attorneys.
defendant made no appearance.The plaintiff went into the witness box
for formal proof.
plaintiff is aged 24 years and is a mechanic by trade and single. He
still pursues his trade but says that with one eye his
slower, he has more strain on the remaining eye, and his work is not
as efficient as it used to be with two eyes.
I have no
more evidence than the above and I took time
consider the main claim of M12.000. Mr. Sello quoted one case AA
Onderlinge Ass. Associese BPK v. Sodoms 1980(3) 5A 134-a personal
accident claim-wherein M10,000 were awarded for the lode of an eye.
Mr. Sello says he claimed M12,000 on account of inflation.
I do not
think this Court should slavishly follow damages awarded by Courts in
other countries. Lesotho Courts should be left with
some elbow room
to come to a decision on awards on personal injuries taking the
economic circumstances of ordinary people here.
In Pooe v. Rosenbach
(22-25 May 1972 in WLD-unreported) M6000 were awarded. In that case
the sight in one of the plaintiff's eyes
had been lost before the
assault and as a result of the assault on the other eye the plaintiff
became almost completely blinded.
Two years later in Strouger v.
Charlier 1974(1) SA 225 M6000 were awarded for the loss of an eye.
(See Corbett & Buchanan-Quantum
of Damages in Bodily and Fatal
injury cases Vol. II pp 242 and 316).
seem to me that the plaintiff had adjusted himself to the handicap.
In the absence of other details I think that M8000 under
items 1 and
2 would be a fair award in addition to the claim for contumelia and
hospital and medical fees making a total of M8319.57.
is entered for plaintiff accordingly with costs.
Plaintiff : Mr. Sello
Defendant : No Appearance
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