Judge bursts man's hope to get compensation in a condom case

A sample of variey of condoms on a wood background. [Getty Images]

A man who sued a condom manufacturing company for allegedly breaking up his marriage has not only walked away with a dismissal but also a lecture from High Court on being truthful.

 The man’s admission that he was married but cheating on his wife with several women cast doubt on the judge’s mind whether he was speaking the truth that the condoms he used during his away-home adventures were of poor quality.

In his case, the man we codename WNO over the sensitivity of the issue told the court that on October 2, 2014, he had sex with a woman he met at a wedding but the protection allegedly broke.

 “I was fully aware of the dangers of having unprotected sex and decided to use my favorite brand called Zoom Scented, which I believed would please the woman and protect me fully," he claimed in court filings.

"But while I was having sexual intercourse (it) broke, a fact I only realised after the act,” he added.

However, Justice Lawrence Mugambi found that his testimony could only be treated with a pinch of salt, as his admission of unfaithfulness could not be corroborated. 

According to the judge, the man admitted to cheating with several women in different towns in various counties.

 Justice Mugambi said WNO never called the woman who he was cheating with to corroborate that the condom burst during their illicit encounter.

At the same time, the Judge questioned why WNO never brought the condom that burst as evidence in court.

In his case, WNO brought used packets of condoms. However, Justice Mugambi said that anyone could collect them in dustbins anywhere or at entertainment joints.

Justice Mugambi observed that perhaps, no condom burst or the man never wore one in his randy adventures.

“This is a man whose quality of honesty is already shaky. He was unfaithful to his own spouse. Can any court rely on the sole evidence of such character without corroboration? There was no corroboration as the woman he had slept with when the condom allegedly burst did not testify. The particular condom that allegedly burst was not presented in Court as an exhibit.

“The particular condom that allegedly burst was not presented in Court as an exhibit. How can he then corroborate that there was any condom that burst or that he even wore any,” said Justice Mugambo.

The man had sued Beta Healthcare International, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

 WNO lamented that nine days after the incident, he noticed rashes on his private parts and pain while urinating, he said. He went to a traditional healer for herbal medicine to ease the pain, he added.

On his way to Nairobi on October 15, 2014, WNO stated that he fell ill and sought treatment. He was told he had contracted a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

“Two days later, my wife called to inform me that she had been infected with an STI. She accused me of being unfaithful and our relationship was strained afterwards. She became estranged and later left me for another man,” he said.

WNO claimed that he became distressed and burdened with guilt, leading to a mental breakdown and alcoholism. He claimed that he also lost his job.

He was seeking compensation and claimed that poor-quality condoms from Uganda were smuggled into Kenya.

The court heard that the buzz created by the condom’s manufacturers had convinced WNO to use the brand with his sexual partners in Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, Kericho and Kisii.

“He even shared with his friends and recommended that his friends use the Zoom brand on the belief that they were premium condoms as advertised by the manufacturer,” his lawyer argued.

He was also seeking a declaration that his rights were violated and the company ordered to pay him special damages for alleged negligence that led him to contract an STI, being left by his wife, and the psychological trauma that followed.

 In reply, the Beta argued that its condoms were latex lubricated, electronically tested at hermetically sealed for maximum protection.

 The pharmaceutical firm asserted that it had never received any complaints about their quality since their introduction in the market and hence was unaware of any complaints by members of the public.

Beta denied that none of the condoms in Uganda were smuggled to Kenya.

Meanwhile, KEBS told the court that Zoom condoms that were sold in Kenya between August 2011 and July 2016 had been tested and were good for use.

The agency stated that no other Kenyan had complained about the condoms at the center of the case.