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Two tenants of a second-floor unit in an apartment building (condominium) in Florida USA died in their bedroom, after inhaling carbon monoxide gas whilst asleep. The gas was believed to have come from a car in the unit’s garage. It seeped into the air-conditioning system of the unit and entered the bedroom through the system’s ducts or vents. The liability insurance claim failed because of a pollution exclusion in the policy. The Homeowners Association (HOA)…
The English Court of Appeal in a June 2018 judgment confirmed the principles relating to informed consent in medical malpractice claims. A woman had been suffering painful, heavy periods and lower back pain, for which she sought medical advice. After being given various treatment options, she chose to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. She was insistent on undergoing this procedure despite being warned by her doctor that it was ‘a very major…
The English Court of Appeal in a June 2018 judgment confirmed the principles relating to informed consent in medical malpractice claims. A woman had been suffering painful, heavy periods and lower back pain, for which she sought medical advice. After being given various treatment options, she chose to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy. She was insistent on undergoing this procedure despite being warned by her doctor that it was ‘a very major…
When a patient’s brain injuries diminishes their awareness and full appreciation of their pain and suffering, an award for general damages is appropriate if the patient experiences intermittent periods of heightened awareness. When determining the amount to be awarded for general damages, our courts prefer a flexible approach. The award should be determined by the broadest general considerations and be based on what is fair in all the circumstances of a case. The purpose or…
Our law recognises that an agreement can be concluded tacitly to replace a previous agreement and a non-variation clause does not preclude the parties from doing so. This principle was recently confirmed by the Supreme Court of Appeal. In Ocean Echo Properties v Old Mutual the parties were contracting under a lease. The landlord sued the tenant for rental and other charges in arrears. The tenant pleaded that they had abandoned the premises at an…
The Supreme Court of Appeal has held that the eThekwini Municipality had a legal duty to supervise and control access to a water slide built for children and situated in a pool on the Durban beachfront Promenade. A mother had taken her son for a day by the sea. The son joined one of many children in enjoying a pool slide in the area. He successfully descended the slide on two occasions, under the distant…
Oral hygienists may perform tooth whitening procedures only if they have received adequate education and training on the procedure at an institution accredited by the Professional Board for Dental Therapy and Oral Hygiene (PBDOH). The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has confirmed the decision by the PBDOH that oral hygienists who have not received training in tooth whitening at undergraduate level or as part of their expanded functions course should not perform the…