A 64-year-old woman is pleading with the government to push an insurance company to settle her compensation awarded after a road accident 18 years ago.
Hellen Mueni says Invesco Assurance has refused to pay her Sh17, 143,743 awarded after years of court battles.
Court documents seen by the Star show the ruling in Civil Suit No. 384 of 2012 between Hellen Mueni Mwathi versus Invesco Assurance was made at the Milimani High Court in Nairobi on April 2, 2019.
Mueni says Invesco officials have taken her in circles without settling the payment.
Mueni was involved in a road accident on September 24, 2001 while traveling in a PSV insured by Invesco.
She suffered severe injuries requiring 24 hours nursing care. “I became an invalid and entirely depended on other people for support,” she said from Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum where she lives with her daughter.
She filed a suit against the driver and owner of the vehicle in 2003 in Embu. The case was heard and dismissed by Justice Isaac Lenaola on October 28, 2005.
Dissatisfied, Mueni filed an appeal in Nyeri. “The appeal was allowed and judgment was entered in my favour on September 14, 2007,” she says.
She says after many attempts, Invesco indicated that they were willing to pay.
The insurance company’s then chairman, general manager and claims manager visited her home in Mlolongo, Athi River, and presented to her with a dummy cheque for Sh3 million.
She filed another suit against the company in 2012. When she won, she immediately embarked on pursuing the money.
“The defendant’s premises are under heavy guard to the extent that there is absolutely no accessibility. It is interesting that the defendant is licensed to operate by collecting premiums but refuses to settle claims including settlement of decrees issued against it,” Mueni says in suit papers.
However, Invesco acting CEO Wilson Mwangi disputes the claims, stating that they paid Sh3 million as the final settlement.
“We paid our limit of liability as per the law. Mueni was represented by her lawyer in the transaction but after she signed the discharge voucher after receiving the Sh3 million, she went back to court alleging that she was not aware of the limit,” Mwangi told the Star.
He said that their lawyer was in talks with the plaintiff’s advocate to settle the matter once and for all.
“She appealed and we also cross-appealed in 2007 after the Third Party Motor Vehicle Risk Act Cap 405 was passed. Out of sympathy, we have asked our lawyer to negotiate with her respectable and experienced advocate so that they settle on a reasonable figure to pay her. Sh 17 million is too much. We can’t pay that.”
The woman’s lawyer Erick Ochieng’ trashed Mwangi’s comments on the issue.
Ochieng’ said Invesco had played games with his client long enough, hence it was the time for the insurance firm to respect the court order and settle the payments.
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He said there were no negotiations going on between Invesco’s lawyer and him.
He said that the law only applies to policies which were taken after the Act was amended in 2007.