Davani tells court to be careful with State claims

National, Normal


IN a trial on assessment of damages, against the State and its agencies, the court must be slow to make awards unless the damages claimed are adequately proven, Justice Catherine Davani said on Tuesday.
Justice Davani said this while sitting at the Waigani National Court in which she dismissed an application by a passenger of a Government vehicle that allegedly crashed resulting in the passenger – Jacob Simbuaken – sustaining injuries.
As a result, he is seeking damages from the driver of the vehicle and the State, totalling more than K70,000.
Justice Davani added that the National Court had emphasised this principle – of being slow in making awards to claimants – in many cases, which she highlighted; and while saying this, dismissed the matter between plaintiff Simbuaken against the driver of the Department of Works Neville Egari and the State of PNG.
The judge said the plaintiff’s claims were based on hearsay.
She ruled that the basis on his pleadings had not been adequately proven before her.
She said there should have been a report from the doctors to base the plaintiff’s medical condition to have resulted from the accident and not only based on the plaintiff’s own affidavit.
The alleged accident, which was the plaintiff’s basis, happened in Enga province on Aug 28, 1991.
The plaintiff took the matter to the court in July 15, 1994 in which he pleaded that he was a passenger in a State vehicle driven by the plaintiff Egari when he allegedly lost control and caused the vehicle to overturn near the Pausa High School section of the Highlands Highway.
The matter proceeded to trial on assessment of damages for and on behalf of the plaintiff, default judgment having been obtained on July 21, 2006.