ROAD ACCIDENT FUND DENIES IT IS UNDER A LEGAL OBLIGATION TO SETTLE CLAIMS FOR AMOUNTS WHICH ARE FAIR AND REASONABLE
In the case of Myhill, ELE N.O (Swalibe Minors) versus the Road Accident Fund, which Judgment was handed down earlier this year out of the Johannesburg High Court. The case involved an application to set aside a compromise agreement (settlement agreement) entered into between the Road Accident Fund and the mother of two minor children who had both suffered serious head injuries in a collision.
At the time of the accident, the minors were aged four months and two years respectively. The Road Accident Fund made offers of settlement which had been accepted by their mother in her capacity of guardian of R4900.00 (Four Thousand Nine Hundred Rand) and R5300.00 (Five Thousand Three Hundred Rand) respectively. One of the claims brought for the Plaintiff was that the minor’s mother was ignorant of the fact that at the time these offers were made that it did not constitute fair and reasonable compensation, that they were bad in law in that they applied an apportionment against the minors in circumstances where they were both culpa incapax (no contribution to negligence could be attributed to them).
That the Road Accident Fund was in breach of their statutory obligation to pay fair and reasonable compensation.
Interestingly, the Road Accident Fund in its defence to the action pleaded that it was not obliged to pay fair and reasonable compensation to the claimants.
The court found that the settlement agreement was not in the best interest of the minors and set both settlement agreements aside freeing the parties to continue litigation against the Road Accident Fund in order to obtain a just settlement.
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