A VICTORIA Falls resident has sued the local authority for negligence and injuries sustained when he accidentally fell into a manhole left open by municipal workers during a routine maintenance exercise.
BY SILAS NKALA
Victor Nduna, through his lawyer Vuyile Mpofu, has filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court seeking an order compelling the local authority to pay him at least $3 000 for the injuries he sustained as a result of the accident.
In his declaration, Nduna submitted that on October 29 2010, he fell into the council manhole while walking at night from Chinotimba to Mkhosana township.
“Approximately one metre from the road in Mkhosana there was a manhole dug by workers of the defendant [council]. The manhole was left uncovered without any restraining wall or barrier,” he submitted.
“In the manhole was a sharp metal structure, bare and protruding upwards.”
Nduna said he fell into the manhole and was pricked by a metal structure at the back of his right knee, resulting in a deep laceration.
He said he hit his head on the manhole edge resulting in a traumatic cataract in his right eye.
“The aforesaid incident was caused by exclusive negligence of the defendant’s workers who failed to cover the manhole with suitable materials, alternatively failure to eliminate the hazard of the open manhole by erecting a restraining wall or barrier around the manhole,” Nduna said.
Nduna said the council’s failure to cover the manhole or to put warning signs resulted in the accident.
He said as a result of the injury on his leg, he has constant pain, affecting his working ability as he is a driver.
Nduna said his eye was operated on and he has suffered reduced vision with constant headache.
Nduna initially claimed payment of $1 000 for the cost of filing the summons, $2 000 for future estimated medical expenses, $30 000 for general damages for pain, $10 000 for general damages which resulted in some form of disability, and interest at the rate of 5% per annum from October 29 2010.
But the parties later reached an out-of-court-settlement, with the council agreeing to pay him a total of $3 000 by end of this month.
The agreement was confirmed by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha in an order date stamped on November 24 2015.