HIV-positive man can sue for a lifetime’s costs

2011-12-21 00:00

BEING HIV-positive does not mean a person will not live as long as another.

This was the ruling of Judge T. Lopes in a KwaZulu-Natal High Court case involving an HIV-positive man, identified only as LN, who is suing police minister Nathi Mthethwa after he was shot and wounded through negligence by a police officer six years ago.

LN (30) is suing for pain, suffering, medical costs and loss of future earnings.

The case was reported in the latest issue of the legal journal De Rebus.

The minister’s stance was that LN could not, like other people, sue for future medical costs and loss of earnings up to the retirement age of 65 as he would probably die of Aids before that time.

Lopes rejected the argument, saying it could no longer be accepted that, because LN is HIV-positive, he would necessarily die sooner than people who are not HIV-positive.

Expert witnesses testified that there was no reason why LN could not live another 30 to 35 years, which would bring him to the normal retirement age.

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