Tag archives: Damages

Deduction of gratuitous payments received by damages claimants

In the June 2021 judgement of Chantell Martin v Road Accident Fund, the court decided that gratuitous or benevolent payments, received by an injured claimant from her husband, should not be taken into account in the calculation of that person’s damages for loss of earnings. The accident occurred in 2015, and the RAF had conceded … Continue reading

When constitutional damages are claimable

This November 2021 Constitutional Court judgment contains a useful review and analysis of when it is appropriate to award constitutional damages. In terms of section 38 of the Constitution, a court may award damages for a violation of rights in the Bill of Rights. Section 38 refers to the granting of “appropriate relief”. The concept of … Continue reading

The once-and-for-all rule for delictual damages

A person who claims for damages sustained as a result of injuries negligently caused by someone else has a single, indivisible cause of action and must sue for all damages in one claim. This proposition was reasserted in the context of a prescription allegation regarding a Road Accident Fund Act claim. The RAF Act only … Continue reading

Duty of municipality to prevent harm

Whether a municipality is required to act so as to avoid reasonably foreseeable harm and, if so, what steps it is required to take to prevent harm, depends what can be reasonably expected in the circumstances of each case. Undue demands cannot be placed on public authorities and functionaries. Their resources and the manner in … Continue reading

Damages for repudiation of a contract

The law allows an innocent party to cancel a contract where the counter-party has wrongfully repudiated a contract, and then to claim damages. In calculating the damages, however, events following repudiation must be taken into account where the events would have reduced the value of performance, even without a breach, had the contract continued in … Continue reading

Constitutional damages

Our courts are reticent in making an award for constitutional damages. They will first consider whether there is scope to develop the common law of damages to permit recovery before awarding constitutional damages, especially where the constitutional damages sought includes a punitive element. The courts look carefully at whether there is an existing, appropriate remedy … Continue reading