Court awards families of Kakamega Primary stampede victims KES 1.25 million each
A Kakamega court has awarded KES 1.25 million in damages to each the families of 14 students killed in a stampede at Kakamega Primary School in 2020.
Chief Magistrate Linus Kassan issued the ruling on Wednesday, following a lawsuit filed by the victims’ parents against the school’s board chairman, the Kakamega county education officer and Attorney General.
The parents, in court papers, wanted the government to compensate their children for exposing them to defective, dangerous and poor conditions at the school.
Kassan stated in his ruling that the defendants held full responsibility for the case and were jointly and severally accountable for the deaths of the youngsters.
The magistrate said: “In my view, the school management who are responsible for the care of the minors bear the greatest responsibility of ensuring that they children are safe and free from harm.”
He found the defendants liable for the minors’ fatal injuries at 100 percent liability.
“They ought to have foreseen any danger that might have arisen in case of such an unexpected event being the care takers of the children during the school going hours. For the above reasons, I find and uphold that the defendants are jointly liable for the minors’ fatal injuries at 100 percent liability,”
The parents accused them of being negligent and failing to ensure their children’s safety.
The tragic incident happened on February 3, 2020, around 5 p.m., as hundreds of students were leaving class to go home.
Witnesses claim that some of them fell from the third floor of a building while rushing down a narrow staircase that collapsed.
Nearly 40 other students were hurt, some critically, and were taken to the hospital. After receiving treatment, the majority of them were released.