IN THE HIGH COURT OF MALAWI
CIVIL CAUSE NO. 3098 OF 2001
DR. GEORGE NTAFU
CORAM: TEMBO, ASSISTANT REGISTRAR
Chisale, Counsel for the Plaintiff
ORDER ON ASESMENT OF DAMAGES
This is this courts order on assessment of damages herein for
personal injuries suffered by the plaintiff in an accident caused
the defendants agents. The assessment is done pursuant to a
default judgment entered in favour of the plaintiff dated
July, 2002. The notice of hearing of this assessment was duly
served on the defendant who never appeared at the hearing.
left the plaintiffs evidence totally uncontroverted.
The plaintiff herein got involved in a minibus accident on 31st
August, 1999. The accident was caused by the negligence of the
In the said accident the plaintiff sustained several injuries.
The plaintiffs right lower leg suffered a fracture namely
tibia and fibula. The same lower leg suffered big cuts that
have left visibly big scars. The plaintiffs chest
were also compressed. He was treated as an in-patient at Thyolo
District Hospital for 11 days. Since the accident
can no longer carry heavy tings because of the ensuring pain in his
chest area every time he attempts to carry such
things. He can
also no longer run or play football.
Clearly the plaintiff must have suffered a lot of pain and suffering
from his injuries as well as from the treatment thereof.
plaintiff has also undoubtedly lost enjoyment of some amenities of
life like sports.
This court has considered submissions made by Counsel on the law as
well the quantum of damages herein. As rightly submitted
counsel for the plaintiff, a person who has suffered damage due to
the negligence of another is entitled to damages whose aim
compensate the injured party as nearly as possible as money can do.
See Livingstone v. Rawyards Coal Company (1880) A. C.
25. The plaintiff is indeed entitled to damages herein for pain
and suffering and for loss of amenities of
life. Such loss is
incapable of quantification in money in terms with mathematical
precision since they are non-monetary in
And as a result courts seek guidance from decided cases of similar
nature in arriving at the appropriate award. See Wright v.
British Railways Boards (1983) A.C. 773.
This court has considered the severity of the plaintiffs injuries
herein as well as decided cases referred to by Counsel for the
plaintiff. One such case being that of Marko and
Chakuamba v. Masingo t/a Nzerunchuma Transport Civil cause
Number 1466 of 1999. In that case the 2nd plaintiff
suffered a fractured right collar bone. He also suffered a
ruptured left knee which subsequently got infected and
He could as a result not lift heavy objects. The sum of
K150,000.00 was awarded to that plaintiff for pain and
loss of amenities of life. That award was made 2nd
This court has also considered the case of Mbaso v. Attorney
General Civil cause Number 769 of 2001 in which the plaintiff
suffered a fractured leg which was left in a plaster of Paris.
therein remained in hospital for 4 months. A sum
of K140,000.00 was awarded for pain and suffering and loss of
life and a further sum of K80,000.00 was awarded for
disfigurement. That award was made in July, 2001.
This court notes that the injuries suffered in the Mbaso Case are
more serious in nature than the ones suffered herein.
The value of the Kwacha has also since depreciated since the award
made in the Mbaso Case. In the circumstances of
this case this court awards the plaintiff the sum of K200,000.00
damages for pain and suffering and
loss of amenities of life and
Costs are for the plaintiff.
Made in Chambers at Blantyre this May, 2004.
M A Tembo