Howick woman gets R450?000 for pothole smash

2014-09-18 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday ordered that the uMngeni Municipality pay R450 000 to a woman who was badly hurt in an accident resulting from a pothole.

Lorraine Margaret Burns (61) told The Witness yesterday that she is happy that her legal battle is finally over after five-and-a-half long years.

“I can only go forward now,” she said.

Burns said the incident happened at about 9 pm after she and her ex-husband had been at a braai in July 2009.

“[My ex-husband] was following a short distance behind me. I was driving along the Curry’s Post road, and I had to pull over to the right side to avoid this hole where the road had broken up. But suddenly there was another car coming [towards me]. I had to go back into my lane,” she said.

Burns said the car then struck a pothole.

The impact caused her rear tyre to burst and she lost control of the car.

The vehicle veered down an embankment. “I can’t remember anything after that,” she said.

Burns said she spent 19 days in the intensive care unit at Grey’s hospital recovering from her extensive injuries. She had head injuries, broken ribs, both her shoulders were dislocated and she had an injury to her left eye.

She said she still suffers from a great deal of pain in her spine and cannot sit or stand for long periods.

The municipality had argued in court that Burns had travelled at a speed which was excessive in the circumstances. She had failed to exercise proper control of the vehicle and failed to avoid the pothole.

Burns wanted the municipality to pay her R873 144,53 — R500 000 for damages, R100 000 for future medical expenses, R270 000 for loss of earning capacity and R3 144,53 for medical expenses.

However, she settled for an amount of R450 000, which was made an order of the court.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.