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20-Oct-2012  
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Samuel Awuku - Will now receive compensation from SIC for suffering irreparable damage
 
 
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The Accra Fast Track High Court has dismissed an application filed by the State Insurance Company (SIC) Ltd seeking to stay its award of GH¢10 million reparation in general and compensatory damages to Samuel Awuku, an accident victim.

The court, presided over by Mr Justice U.P. Dery, Thursday ruled that the application was incompetent and awarded costs of GH¢500 against the SIC.

That was after counsel for the boy had urged the court not to entertain the application because SIC lacked capacity, since it was not a party to the suit which culminated in the grant of the award.

Sources told graphic.com.gh that immediately after the court’s ruling, some officials of SIC approached lawyers for the little boy, possibly to seek the way forward, but nothing conclusive was arrived at.

On November 9, 2003 when Awuku was just three years old, he was knocked down by a truck, with registration number UW 853 C, while walking with his mother by the side of the road at Afienya.

His right thigh and part of his mid-section were destroyed in the process and he has had his life ruined through the negligence and recklessness of the driver who ran over him.

Now Awuku is12 and that gory accident has permanently rendered him sub-human, with doctors declaring him functionally unable to biologically reproduce.

He lost both testes and scrotum and the skin shaft of his penis and left with an amputated right thigh.

He underwent more than six surgeries at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital where he had been on admission for about eight months.

He will need a fitting of leg prosthesis, but, for now, he is walking with crutches.

Little Awuku sued the driver and car owner, Shaibu Sulemana, through his uncle. The driver was prosecuted at the Tema Circuit Court ‘A’, convicted and fined GH¢200 or in default, he would serve two years’ imprisonment.

But when all hope of getting justice seemed to be failing, Awuku received some justice from the Accra Fast Track High Court, which awarded him the reparation of GH¢10 million in general and compensatory damages, GH¢179.30 in medical expenses with interest from July 2004 and costs of GH¢10,000.

Since the driver could not pay the damages, lawyers for Awuku sued the SIC, which insured the truck that was involved in the accident.

This award was challenged by the company as being too excessive and it offered to pay a conditional reparation of GH¢35,000.
In 2008, claims were put in for Little Awuku but that had not been paid and, according to the boy, his incapacitation was made known to SIC when his claims were put in.

But, he said, it had become obvious that SIC was unwilling to pay him any compensation for his injury, hence the instant action against the company.

The SIC entered appearance in the matter and was required by the rules of court to file its defence in the matter.

Rather, the company filed a motion for stay of execution of the judgement against the driver pending appeal of the matter.

According to SIC, the award granted Awuku was manifestly excessive regarding the global award of general and compensatory damages and that it was only fair and just that enforcement of the judgement be stayed pending the appeal.

The company said it was not a party to the suit that culminated in the award and prayed that the court grant a conditional stay of execution in the sum of GH¢35,000 to be paid to the boy pending the appeal.

It said the boy would be unable to refund the money in the likely event that the Court of Appeal varied the damages awarded.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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