IT was a heart rending judgement.
The judge said the liability against the Kamlesh Pattni (Goldenberg) owned country club on the material day called for the payment.
Luo Yi was attacked by a hippo on her first vacation to Kenya.
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The judge ruled that the hotel takes 80 per cent liability and 20 percent against the tourist for not taking care of her own safety, as in warning signs, though written in English had picture of animals that she would have inquired about!
She absolved KWS, sued as a respondent, of blame saying the safety of the guest squarely rested on the hosts.
Click to watch KWS lawyer Patrick Lutta’s on why KWS was absolved:He had submitted that the hotel should shoulder the burden as it had charged riparian communities to erect manned electric fences or dig trenches that may prevent animals from attacking visitors, apart from putting bold warnings on premises of the looming danger.
A 20 per cent liability of Ksh6.3 million against the tourist for not being keen on her own safety translated, to Ksh25. 5 million penalty when deducted against the total sum…
The court observed that witnesses had testified there were no escort(s) to accompany the visitors to their cottages!
The distress call was attended to in about ten minutes.
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A judge said none of the witnesses Lake Naivasha Country Club called were present on the material day, and wondered why purported escorts were never called to testify.
“Abednego was not called to testify…” justice Jacqueline Kamau said as she ruled out the defendants witnesses’ testimony as mere heresy.
The judge said the evidence that the tourist was taking pictures was not proof enough not even the testimony that her camera phone was found on standby by mode after the mauling.
She chided owners of properties near wild animals to be extra vigilant!
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The premise where Luo was attacked was dimly lit,pitch black, to say the least,the judge said adding that this amounted to total negligence.
Justice Kamau wondered why the owners of Lake Naivasha Country Club allowed animals near guests.
She said warning signs would not exonerate it from liability as an electric fence reportedly had malfunctioned.
The judge said the animal had clearly encroached on the hotel premises on the tragic night.
She said she was awarding the family for pain and suffering,damages,loss of a dependent and penalising the hotel for negligence.
The judge said it was not the responsibility of KWS to dig trenches around the premises to secure their guests.
She said the fatal attack was occasioned by the joint negligence of the deceased and the hotel.
KWS blamed the hotel for failing to erect an electric fence to prevent wild animals from accessing its premises and encroaching on a riparian land where hippopotamus graze.