SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL DECISION
CLAIMANT WHO SELECTED WRONG CAUSE OF ACTION IN HER CLAIM FORM BUT INDICATED CORRECT CAUSE IN HER SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS TO THE CLAIM FORM AND WHOSE CLAIM WAS DISMISSED AS A RESULT IS SUCCESSFUL IN THE SUPREME COURT OF APPEAL
In 2004 the claimant was involved in a motor vehicle collision under the old Road Accident Fund Act. The vehicle she was driving collided into a truck as a result of an unidentified taxi cutting across her path of travel. The taxi failed to stop at the scene of the collision and was never identified.
When a claim form was submitted, it was incorrectly indicated on the claim form that the cause of the collision was the truck and no mention was made of the unidentified taxi. However, in her supporting affidavit, as well as supporting affidavits of witnesses and other correspondence, reference was made to the cause of the collision being caused by the unidentified taxi.
The Road Accident Fund raised a special plea that as the claim form has been filled out as an identified claim and not an unidentified claim, the claimant would not be entitled to continue with a claim based on the claim against the unidentified taxi (by this stage it was too late to submit a new claim form based on a claim against the taxi as the two year period to do so had passed). The special plea was upheld and the claimant’s claim was dismissed. This decision was subsequently taken on appeal before a full bench of the North Gauteng High Court where again the decision of the court a quo was confirmed. The claimant subsequently took the matter to the Supreme Court of Appeal where the court found that considering the specific circumstances of this case, that to uphold the earlier Judgments would be to elevate form above substance, to be rigidly technical against a just result and to subvert the objects of the act and upheld her appeal.
To view the Judgment, please click on the link