Kenya: Employee Sues Mombasa Hotel Over Gun Drama

17 January 2020

A Mombasa hotel and resort is embroiled in a legal tussle with its former employee who is seeking compensation for injuries she sustained after being shot by a guest.

Pessila Aoko Agengo, who worked as a room steward at Sunrise Resort Apartment & Spa Ltd, argues through lawyer Ecrone Omulloh that her shooting was wholly caused by the hotel's negligent after it failed to prevent guests from accessing the establishment's rooms while bearing firearms.

"The hotel also acted with negligence when it failed to take measures, as is necessary, to warn guests on the dangers of reckless use of firearms in the presence of employees during working hours," Ms Aoko said in court papers.

She argues that as a direct result of the hotel's negligence, she suffered and continues to suffer bodily injuries. Among the special damages sought are expenses for medical treatment.

The hotel concedes that Ms Aoko was shot while at the facility but denies negligence as alleged.

"We maintain that her injuries were caused by a third party, William Waihura Ndung'u, who negligently handled a firearm, causing it to discharge and injure Ms Aoko," the hotel said in court papers.

Sunrise Resort Apartment & Spa Ltd adds that she had entered Mr Waihura's room without permission and against hotel rules and regulations, thereby placing herself at risk. The establishment believes it cannot therefore be held liable in such circumstances.

Lawyer Omulloh states that on November 26, 2018 Ms Aoko received Sh170,000 from the guest who fired the pistol as compensation for her injuries and for medical care through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between herself and the guest.

The hotel on its part says that despite this MoU, it is not liable for negligence as alleged.

"Notwithstanding the MoU, Mrs Aoko holds the hotel wholly responsible for the injuries sustained on the account of negligence," Mr Omulloh said.

She resigned from work in October last year on claims she is finding it difficult to work as a result of the injuries she sustained from the gunshot.

Ms Aoko explains in court papers that she had been advised by various medical diagnoses that there is a risk of aggravating her condition with her physically demanding duties at work.

The case will be mentioned on January 23, 2020.

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