16 September 2009
SIR-the allegations in your news item (New accident fund “to end lawyer’s greed”, September), referring to criticism of “lawyers greed” by Jacob Modise, CEO of the Road Accident Fund, are an attempt to deflect the responsibility for enormous wasting of legal costs by the fund onto lawyers, and are proven humbug. Mr Modise’s refrain was considered and rejected by the Cape High Court twice recently. And, irony of ironies, he (that is the tax payer) was ordered to pay costs on a punitive scale-such, for the judges, was the fund’s misconduct.
But let readers judge for themselves. I have just completed a high court case against the fund. My client, 25-year-old man on a bicycle, was knocked down from behind in daylight by a motor vehicle and seriously injured. The vehicle driver said he had no recollection of the incident. There was a broad agreement between the doctors for the claimant and the fund as to the claimant and the fund as to the claimant’s injuries and their effects.
Thus there was no real issue, yet the fund made no offer to settle the claim or concede liability at any stage. It allowed the trail to run for six days until the claimant won. The fund’s advocate and attorney said they could not obtain any instructions to settle the claim from the fund until the board meeting in the future, although the matter had taken 2 ½ years to get to court. Cynical and incompetent administration of the fund, with a R2m a year CEO at its helm, is responsible for wasting costs.