NATION

$150K Eye Injury Compensation

The High Court in Suva has ordered four defendants to pay Sakiusa Rokotakala $150,000 for an injury he sustained 10 years ago. The injury was sustained when he was a
13 Apr 2017 11:00
$150K Eye Injury Compensation
Judge Gavel and money isolated on white background

The High Court in Suva has ordered four defendants to pay Sakiusa Rokotakala $150,000 for an injury he sustained 10 years ago. The injury was sustained when he was a 12-year-old student of the then Nabua Fijian Primary School.

The matter was filed before the civil jurisdiction in 2006.

The first defendant, in this matter was Savaira Sigalevu, the class teacher at the school at the time.

The second defendant is the manager and chairman, Malakai Tadulala and treasurer, Isimeli Bola, including other members of the management committee and controlling authority.

The third defendant is the chief executive officer – Education.

The fourth defendant is the Ministry of Education. The court has ordered that the four defendants pay Rokotakala $150,000 and also pay him $5000 as costs of the action.

Rokotakala had sustained an eye injury in school during morning recess.

He told the court during the hearing in February that on that day when he was roaming around with his friends, someone threw a stone at him and it hit his left eye. Another student, Sepeti Soronivalu told the court that when they saw blood in Rokotakala’s eye, they took him to the washroom. The principal later took him to the Colonia War Memorial Hospital.

Dr Jai Narayan, who had examined and treated Rokotakala told the court that he had made two reports.

The first report stated that Rokotakala’s injured eye had become totally blind, and the second report stated that Rokotakala was given two options which were to remove his injured eye and replace it with an artificial eye. Dr Narayan said that Rokotakala preferred to keep his eye as it was.

Judge Justice Lyone Seneviratne said: “The question is whether the publication of the rules, and advising the students are sufficient to avoid incidents of this nature among students. One cannot expect the children of this age to read the notifications and follow the rules that may be the reason why the school management appointed a teacher to supervise the students during the recess.

“Had the teacher on duty was cautious enough, she could have stopped the children playing with stones and removed them from the ‘out of bounds’ area.

“In the circumstances the court is of the view that the injuries caused to Rokotakala was due to the neglect of the duty of care owed towards the students by the defendants.”

Rokotakala had claimed general damages for the pain and suffering, loss of amenities of life and loss of earning capacity.

He is now working as a computer graphic designer, but he has informed the court that he cannot work for a long time on the computer because the injured eye becomes painful.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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