Tafelsig family unhappy with injury payout

KAYLYNN PALM

A Tafelsig teen, Ryan Serra, 14, who fell into a drain three years ago, fracturing his ankle and breaking his finger, has been offered compensation by the City of Cape Town but his family say the amount is too little.

Ryan fell into the drain in front of his house in Assegaaibos Street, Tafelsig, on June 28 2013. Before his injury the drain cover was stolen. Residents reported it to the City but the cover was not replaced.

They then covered it with a wooden board. On June 28, Ryan was on his way home from the shop when he stepped on the board. The board broke and he fell into the drain, fracturiing his ankle and breaking his index finger on his right hand (“Drain cover replaced three years after fall”, Plainsman, February 24).

The City has now offered R17 231.50 but the Serra family says the amount is “too low”.

Ryan said he is experiencing pain in his ankle.

The Plainsman sent a media enquiry in February to the City of Cape Town, asking whether the drain cover has been replaced since Ryan’s fall.

Since that query the drain has been fixed.

Ms Serra said over the past three years, she has been at the Civic Centre, seeking assistance with her claim.

Ms Serra said she has submitted the required medical reports, but is still waiting for the orthopaedic report.

“Ryan needs medical attention and currently all his shoes are breaking on the one foot as his ankle swells. We cannot accept the amount offered as he will need medical attention in the near future too,” she said.

Community worker and chairperson of Agents for Change, April Engelbrecht, has been helping the Serra family with the insurance claim. He said the family put in a claim for R189 000 but the City of Cape Town is offering R17 231.50.

“The family is unhappy about this amount as Ms Serra has had a loss of income because she was dismissed as she had to look after her son. Then it’s the past and future medical bills and the travelling expenses that she has to cough up money for,” he said.

Executive deputy mayor and mayoral committee member for finance, Ian Neilson, said City’s insurance department thoroughly perused the application submitted for this claim before an offer was made to the third party.

He said the original amount claimed by the third party in the amount of R189 000 was made without any supporting documentation to substantiate the claim.

“The bulk of this claim was in respect of future medical expenses. Subsequently, the third party was requested to provide all relevant documentation in support of her (Ms Serra )claim for her son who was injured on June 28 2013.

“The only documentation provided by Ms Serra was doctor’s and clinical reports dating back to 2013 when the injury was treated. There was no record of any follow-up treatment required by the minor since October 2013 to date, which implied that the minor had made a full recovery,” he said.

Mr Neilson said the amount of R17 231.50 offered to the third party is made up of past medical expenses amounting to R231.50, transportation of R2 000 and general damages of R15 000.

He added that the claim for loss of income from September 15 2013 to February 29 2015 was not substantiated by the claimant.

‘The City’s insurance department is of the opinion that it has made a fair offer to the third party. The applicant has the option to appeal this decision, and can do so by writing to the Appeal Committee at msa.appeals@capetown.gov.za,” said Mr Neilson.

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