IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE HIGH COURT
ACCRA - A.D 2019
OSEI ACHEAMPONG H/NO. PLOT 40, BLOCK KK ANWOMASO- KUMASI - (Plaintiff)
GLOBAL ACESS LTD CITIZEN KOFI'S BUILDING OSU- ACCRA -(Defendant)
DATE: 13 TH MAY, 2019
SUIT NO: RPC 15/2015
JUDGES: HIS LORDSHIP JUSTICE DR. RICHMOND OSEI-HWERE
LAWYERS: KWABENA OPOKU MENSAH FOR PLAINTIFF
On 17th December, 2018, the plaintiff herein issued a writ of summons against the defendant herein seeking the following reliefs:
a. Cash the sum of Ninety-Nine Thousand Three Hundred and Twenty Ghana Cedis Thirty-Nine Pesewas (99,320.39) being money held in the Plaintiff’s savings account with the defendant financial institution.
b. Interest on the sum of Ninety-Nine Thousand Three Hundred and Twenty Ghana Cedis Thirty-Nine Pesewas (99,320.39) at the prevailing bank rate from October, 2018 to the date of final payment.
c. Cash the sum of One Hundred Thousand and One Ghana Cedis(GHC100,001.00) being the fixed deposit investment held by the defendant institution on behalf of the plaintiff and the interest attendant thereto.
d. General, special, exemplary and punitive damages against the defendant institution for its failure to honour numerous cheques the plaintiff drew on his account to enable him make payments to his clients on a weekly basis because his legitimate expectation that the said cheques would be honoured to enable him pay winnings of his clients was thwarted though the plaintiff had sufficient funds in his account.
e. Costs incurred by the plaintiff in his self-sponsored trip to Accra to have a meeting with the executives of the defendant institution at its headquarters in Osu which took three days but yielded no positive result.
g. SUCH FURTHER ORDER(S) as the Honorable Court may deem fit.
On 19th February, 2019 the plaintiff filed a motion on notice forjudgment in default of defence after the defendant had failed or refused to file a defence. The defendant was duly served with the motion but it failed file an affidavit in response. On 26thFebruary, 2019 judgment was entered in favour of the plaintiff against the defendant in respect of reliefs (a), (b) and (c) of the writ of summons. Costs of GHC 15,000.00 was awarded against the defendant. The matter was adjourned for hearing relating to the assessment of damages.
The law is that general damages lie for every infringement of an absolute right. The Supreme Court held in the case of Delmas Agency Ghana Ltd vrs Food Distributors International Ltd [2007/2008] SCGLR 748, 760 thus:
‘‘General damages is such as the law will presume to be the probable or natural consequences of the defendant’s act. It arises by inference of law and therefore need not be proved by evidence. The law implies general damages in every infringement of an absolute right. The catch is that only general damages are awarded.
Where a plaintiff has suffered a properly quantifiable loss, he must plead specifically his loss and prove it strictly. If he does not he is not entitled to anything unless general damages are also appropriate.’’
When the plaintiff testified, he stated that the defendant’s default has affected the running of his business, he is unable to pay most of his customers and some of his workers have left his employment. That, he has closed most of the branches of his lotto business and he still owes some employees their salaries. He also told the court that on the advice of the Branch Manager, he travelled to Accra to follow up his request for payment of his money at the Head Office of the defendant. According to the plaintiff, he spent three nights in Accra and lodged at a hotel. In sum, he incurred costs in pursuit of his legitimate demand for payment of his investment.
The plaintiff failed or refused to quantify the specific losses. However, general damages are appropriate in the circumstance, as of right.
Consequently, I award general damages of GHC 15,000.00 in favour of the plaintiff.
DR. RICHMOND OSEI-HWERE
JUSTICE OF THE HIGH COURT