Nairobi — A road agency will now pay lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi Sh 0.7million after his Bentley Bentyaga's car windscreen was damaged by a stone from repair works on a major highway two years ago.
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHa) was ordered to pay the city lawyer Sh 750,311 after he convinced the court that it was negligent of KeNHA while doing repair works.
A Kajiado Magistrate's Court was told that while traveling from Arusha, Tanzania on August 25, 2018, on the Nairobi-Namanga Highway in the company of his children, workers from KeNHA were re-carpeting the highway and shrapnel hit the windscreen shattering it.
He testified of the agency's negligence because they failed to put up road signs to warn him and other motorists of the ongoing repairs.
However, KeNHA denied liability through Fredrick Oyuga an Assistant Director, who faulted Ahmednassir for not reporting the incident to the nearest police station or any of its offices.
Oyuga claimed that the incident could have occurred in Tanzania and the lawyer was probably driving at high speed. The court further heard that there was no way stone particles could have hit the windscreen rendering it useless.
He went on to say that the lawyer did not deserve to be paid damages as no assessment from an independent person or organisation to show the extent of the damage was done.
But in his finding, magistrate Edwin Mulochi said the agency in- charge of the highway, cannot be believed that it had nothing to do with the repairs, which were being undertaken.
"In view of the foregoing, I come to the conclusion that the defendant owes the plaintiff and other road users a duty of care. The duty cannot be shifted to a third party," the magistrate said.
The magistrate said the agency should have erected signs along the road to warn road users of the ongoing roadworks, or in the alternative, divert the vehicles.
"Having failed to either erect signs along the road cautioning users or divert traffic, the defendant clearly breached its duty of care to the plaintiff," he said.
He held there was no need to report the incident because it was not an accident Under section 73 of the Traffic Act, requiring him to inform the police.