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Woman slaps driver with $520k lawsuit for fuel queue accident

By Mashudu Netsianda

A BULAWAYO woman who sustained injuries after her car was hit by another vehicle while in a fuel queue is suing the driver of the offending car for $520 000 in damages.

File picture of the Bulawayo High Court
File picture of the Bulawayo High Court

Ms Heather Hikwa of Pumula South was injured when Mr Sisinga Mahlangu’s car rammed into hers along Plumtree road in Bulawayo but did not state the exact location.

She suffered various degrees of injury which resulted in permanent disability.

The accident occurred on May 10 this year.

Ms Hikwa, through her lawyer Mr Thulani Ndlovu of Sansole and Senda Legal Practitioners, filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court citing Mr Mahlangu as a defendant.

In papers before the court, Ms Hikwa said the accident left her with a permanent disability.

She is demanding $520 000 from the defendant being damages for pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, past and future medical expenses including money for repairing her damaged car.

The woman accused Mr Mahlangu of negligence and recklessness.

“As a result of the accident emanating from the defendant’s negligence, I suffered great pain and therefore claim general damages for pain and suffering amounting to $500 000. Furthermore, I suffered special damages already paid amounting to $20 000,” said Ms Hikwa.

“The sole cause of the accident was the defendant’s negligence who rammed onto my motor vehicle which was stationary and in a fuel queue.”

Ms Hikwa said Mr Mahlangu was driving at an excessive speed on a road whose speed limit was 60km/h.

“The defendant drove his motor vehicle without care and attention and was apparently drunk. He was reckless especially on approaching a place where there were many cars in a fuel queue.

“Wherefore my claim against the defendant is payment of $520 000 being total amount of general damages arising from the road traffic accident, which was solely caused by defendant’s negligence,” she said.

Ms Hikwa also wants an order directing the defendant to pay the legal costs.

Mr Mahlangu through his lawyers Dube, Mguni and Dube Legal Practitioners, queried the legal basis upon which the plaintiff was claiming the money as general damages.

He also demanded to know the legal basis for alleging recklessness on his part as well as the issue of drunkenness, which was raised by Ms Hikwa.

“What is the medical and legal basis for alleging that the plaintiff will require further treatment in future?” asked Mr Mahlangu’s lawyers. The Chronicle