The Pothole Plague – Claiming Damages

“If cars are required to be roadworthy, shouldn’t roads be required to be car-worthy?” (Online meme) If you fall victim to a pothole-infested road, don’t hesitate to sue for your losses. A recent High Court victory for a motorist claiming R8.6m in damages confirms yet again that those charged with maintaining our roads can be […]

Suing for a Supermarket “Slip ‘n Trip” – What Must You Prove?

“The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger” (William Shakespeare) Tripping over aisle blockages or slipping on floors made slick by spillages can happen in even the best-managed supermarkets, and injured shoppers regularly turn to our courts to claim damages from shopkeepers and building owners. It’s no surprise therefore that this sort of claim […]

How to Stop Someone Damaging Your Good Name on Social Media

“He that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed.” (Shakespeare) As our lives move increasingly online, more and more of us will be subjected to the distress and damage of online attacks. Whether they are aimed at hurting us personally or at harming […]

“Bad Dog!” Why a Husky’s Owner Must Pay R100,000 Damages

“…in general, ownership of an animal should carry with it strict liability for any harm done by the animal.” (Extract from judgment below) Owning a pet comes with both joys and responsibilities, and a recent High Court award of almost R100,000 in damages to the victim of a dog attack is yet another reminder of […]

Can You Claim Damages After Hitting a Pothole?

“The American Automobile Association estimated in the five years prior to 2016 that 16 million drivers in the United States have suffered damage from potholes to their vehicle including tire punctures, bent wheels, and damaged suspensions with a cost of $3 billion a year.” (Wikipedia) Pothole problems are by no means exclusive to South Africa, […]

A “Running Down” Damages Claim – Elite Athlete v Happy Snapper

A “Running Down” Damages Claim – Elite Athlete v Happy Snapper

“This is a running down case: literally” (Extract from judgment below) The scene is Cape Town’s iconic Sea Point Promenade. An elite runner participating in a race knocks down a pedestrian out for a Sunday walk, causing serious injuries. The pedestrian sues both the runner and the race organiser for damages of R718,000. The outcome […]

Property Owner and Body Corporate Liable After Child’s Electrocution?

A recent High Court decision saw both a sectional title unit owner and his cupboard contractor held liable for damages suffered by an 11-year-old boy electrocuted by a communal tap. The complex’s body corporate and an electrician were also sued but escaped liability. The reasons given by the Court for these contrasting outcomes provide valuable […]

Exemption Clauses and Thieving Employees: Can You Sue (or Be Sued)?

“Where one of the parties wishes to be absolved either wholly or partially from an obligation or liability which would or could arise at common law under a contract of the kind which the parties intend to conclude, it is for that party to ensure that the extent to which he, she or it is […]

When Can a Shop Be Sued for Damages If a Customer Falls?

“… it is by now long established in our law that the owner or other person or entity in control of a shopping mall has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure that its premises are ‘reasonably safe’ for those members of the public who might frequent them … What such steps may […]