Sandra Sithole

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Appeal Court confirms insurer liable to indemnify insured for failure to assess the risk of a schizophrenic prison inmate (Australia)

The New South Wales Court of Appeal upheld the decision of a lower court, holding an insurer liable to indemnify its insured, a prison detention centre for failing to assess the risk of a chronic schizophrenic prison inmate. The inmate threw himself from a building and suffered serious brain and other physical injuries. The issue … Continue reading

Law Commission report on medico-legal claims for comment by 30 September 2017

The South African Law Reform Commission has issued a lengthy paper on the investigations into medico-legal claims with proposals for the reform of the law in connection with those claims. The paper discusses the current situation and the legal principles underlying claims for damages for medical negligence, state liability, the basis for payment of compensation … Continue reading

Doctor/Patient confidentiality and failure to disclose genetic risk of Huntington’s Disease (UK)

A pregnant woman in the UK has sued a hospital and mental facility for failing to inform her that she had, through her father, a high risk of suffering from Huntington’s disease. Huntington’s Disease is a hereditary condition causing damage to the brain cells, giving rise to disruption of movement, cognition and personality change and … Continue reading

Facebook page costs woman future loss claim (UK)

A 37 year old woman from Nottingham has lost a claim for future pain and suffering following failure by a hospital to notify her of a positive result of a sexually transmitted infection with the result that the infection was left untreated for a year. The woman who suffered from a pre-existing somatic symptom disorder … Continue reading

Exclusion for medical services in a medical malpractice claim (US)

Over a 150 patients claimed damages against a hospital because of an outbreak of fungal meningitis and related infections which resulted from the patients receiving injections with contaminated substances. The court held that there was no claim under the insurer’s commercial package policy based on personal injury claims because the policies excluded bodily injury ‘due … Continue reading

Communication via brokers held not to be privileged

A US court has ruled that communications between lawyers and insurers which passed through a London broker are not privileged. This is because entrusting lawyer advices to a third party, such as a third party broker, amounts to a waiver of privilege since those communications are no longer confidential. The London brokers acted as nothing … Continue reading

Difficulty in interpreting a policy does not mean it is ambiguous

Policies like any contract are not rendered uncertain because the parties disagree on their meaning. The court in Expectio Properties (Pty) Ltd v Mutual & Federal Insurance Company Limited was called upon to decide whether a dispute relating to the interpretation of an insurance contract between Mutual & Federal and the liquidators of Expectio Properties indicated … Continue reading

Confusion over reinstatement value conditions

An insurer’s obligation to indemnify the insured does not arise until the insurer has elected whether to indemnify in money or by reinstatement. The election must be made within a reasonable time. Mutual & Federal concluded an insurance contract with the liquidators of Expectio Properties and agreed to indemnify the insured for damage to the … Continue reading

Higher degree of care required when dealing with children

A higher degree of care is required when dealing with children. Teachers owe young children in their care a legal duty to act positively to prevent physical harm being sustained by them through misadventure. The appellant Pro Tempo Akademie CC, conducts a school which caters for learners who struggle with learning disabilities and which Jaco, a … Continue reading
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