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Kenya Power’s bid to overturn Sh22m child electrocution award flops

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Kenya Power workers. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • A bench of three judges of the Court of Appeal dismissed the utility firms’s appeal saying given the child’s condition after the injuries, there cannot be an issue of unjust enrichment or over compensation.
  • Kenya Power wanted the amount reduced arguing that it was excessive and the girl- Joy Mukami- should have taken 20 percent liability because she was not careful while picking firewood four years ago.

Kenya Power #ticker:KPLC has lost a bid to overturn a Sh22 million compensation awarded to a teenager whose both hands were amputated after touching live electricity wires four years ago.

A bench of three judges of the Court of Appeal dismissed the utility firms’s appeal saying given the child’s condition after the injuries, there cannot be an issue of unjust enrichment or over compensation.

Kenya Power wanted the amount reduced arguing that it was excessive and the girl- Joy Mukami- should have taken 20 percent liability because she was not careful while picking firewood four years ago.

“No amount of money could ever restore the child to her previous condition. No sufficient reason has been given to warrant interference with that award and therefore that ground fails,” Justices Roselyn Nambuye, Wanjiru Karanja and Patrick Kiage said.

The child was out collecting firewood in Luthie village in Meru County on August 28, 2017 when she touched a live electric wire on the ground and was electrocuted. Her mother- Ambrusina Makena Kiulio sued the company for negligence.

Kenya Power denied the claim and contended that the child was wholly to blame or substantially contributed to the accident. The company denied that the child was electrocuted by live electric wires, and if she was electrocuted, it was because of her negligence for failing to notice the live wires and avoid them and willingly exposing herself to danger.

But the child’s mother produced several documents including receipts of medical a bill amounting to Sh526,160, birth certificate, letters from area chief and various hospitals they visited.

The three judges faulted Kenya Power saying the company failed to call a witness to testify and debunk the figures quoted by the mother from an expert on prosthesis in Ottobock, Germany.

“They did not file any document to disprove the claim that the figures proposed... They did not call a witness who would have rebutted the contents of the said report, nor did the appellant provide the trial court with an alternative document,” the Judges noted.

The initial judgement was delivered by Justice Alfred Mabeya.