Turyatemba v Musinguzi (HCT CIVIL APPEAL NO.035 OF 2007) [2012] UGHC 155 (7 August 2012);


Search Summary: 

This was an appeal from the decision of the Chief Magistrate, where she found the appellant liable for recklessly driving and causing an accident in which the respondent suffered multiple injuries and awarded the respondent general damages.

The Appellant contented that the plaintiff/respondent sued a wrong party.  The High Court held that the plaintiff was free to sue any one or all persons who owed him a duty of care on the road which was breached. That the appellant had the opportunity of seeking to have the said 3rd party added to the suit as a defendant through third party proceedings, to join issues with him as to contribution to the Accident which he did not do. Therefore since Defendant/Appellant pleaded guilty to the offence of causing the respondent body injuries through reckless driving had accepted liability. That where the circumstances of the accident give rise to the inference of negligence or recklessness then the Defendant had a duty to prove there was a probable cause of the accident which did not connote negligence. In the civil trial the Defendant/Respondent conceded the involvement in the accident but attributed the cause to the motorcycle rider. Therefore the moment the appellant admitted Criminal liability and paid a fine he put himself in a suable position.


Headnote and Holding: 

Court considered the appellant’s plea of guilty in the Criminal trial as evidence that corroborated the Plaintiff/Respondents evidence and on a balance of probability the Respondent proved the case of negligence against the Appellant.  Therefore the appeal was dismissed.


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