Uganda: Parent Seeks Shs1 Billion From School Over Dead Child

Kampala — A parent whose child allegedly died at Sir Apollo Kaggwa Primary School-Nakasero has gone to court demanding Shs1 billion from the school.

In a suit that was filed in the High Court Civil Division, Mr Martin Sentamu is seeking a recovery of general damages, punitive damages, interest and costs of the suit arising out of the school's negligent acts or omissions that occasioned the death of his son Imran Kyagulanyi Sentamu.

Mr Sentamu states that on July 5, 2019, while in a classroom on the school premises, the 5-year-old Kyagulanyi who was in Top Class Purple was hit by a loose frame of timber that had a thick layer of granite affixed on it.

"That as a result of being hit by the heavy frame of timber the deceased obtained blunt force trauma injuries that led to his death about an hour after the incident," the suit read in part.

Court documents further indicate that the child was in good health and had no medical complications that were known to the parents before he met his death.

Mr Sentamu avers and contends that the conduct of the defendant amounted to gross negligence for which it is liable in general and punitive damages for inconvenience, mental anguish and stress.

"The defendant owed a high duty of care to the deceased and other pupils and exposing him to the loose frame of timber that eventually occasioned the loss of his life at the school premises was a fundamental breach of the duty of care," Mr Sentamu says in the suit.

He further says that the death of his son caused him and his family excessive emotional distress, mental anguish and the younger sibling of the deceased who was also a pupil at the school was so traumatised that he has since refused to return to the same school.

Through Amanyire & Mwebaze Advocates, Mr Sentamu is seeking a declaration that the death of the deceased resulted from the defendant's negligence.

He is seeking Shs950 million as general damages, Shs50 million as punitive damages, costs of the suit, interest and other remedies deemed appropriate by court.

The particulars of the negligence include; failure to take any or adequate precautions for the safety of the deceased and other pupils on the school premises from the loose frame of timber, failure to supervise pupils while on school premises.

Other particulars are keeping loose frames of timber in a classroom on the school premises well knowing that they pose a danger to the lives of pupils and exposing the deceased and other pupils to the risk of injury that was reasonably foreseeable.

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