A Kakamega-based lawyer has sued a local petrol station after an attendant erroneously filled his tank with petrol instead of diesel, leading to corrosion of the engine.
Edwin Wawire Wafula wants the court to compel Julius Gitonga Karanga, operating as Julika Petrol Station, made to pay him Sh533,500 as costs incurred to procure new engine parts, after the previous ones were permanently damaged.
In the suit filed at the Magistrates Court, Mr Wawire says he was en route Mumias law courts on November 20, when he went to fuel his car, KCW 634Z, Isuzu pick-up. He asked the female attendant to refill the car with diesel, but she erroneously put petrol instead.
“In the course of fueling my car, the pump attendant walked to the window and told me to switch off the engine. She was panicking and said she had messed up my car, she had put petrol instead of diesel,” read the court papers.
Gitonga, who is also the manager, is said to have arrived and promised to compensate the lawyer for any loss and damages before changing tune and becoming “extremely arrogant” after some time.
“Instead of helping me sort the issue, the lady and the manager started tossing me around and became completely arrogant, bragging that he was untouchable in the town,” said Wawire.
He says he had the car towed to a garage, where the vehicle was worked on before he reported the incident at Kakamega Central police station, where arrests are yet to be made.
Wawire wants special damages he incurred in the purchase of new injector pump, four injector nozzles, fuel filter and fuel pump alongside the labour all amounting to Sh333,500.
He further wants compensation of towing charges, alternative means of transport and advocate representation fees all amounting to Sh190,000.
Wawire says he suffered substantive losses as a result of negligence on the part of the attendant and failure by the management to take responsibility.
In their response to the demand letter, the respondent denies that the lawyer has ever refuelled the car at the station on the said date or any other date.
In the letter signed by lawyer Phoebe Muleshe and annexed to court documents, the respondent alleges that the lawyer's claims are untrue.
“The complainant drove an unregistered vehicle to our station and parked it for hours without saying a word. When he was told to remove the vehicle to allow a flow of clients, the complainant became furious and caused a scene,” said Ms Muleshe in the letter.
She maintained that Wawire later towed the vehicle to an unknown place, adding that he was not served at the facility. The plaintiff has been given 14 days to serve the respondent with the court papers