Two individuals, Joseph Kintu and Sulaiman Balinya, have sued Marie Stopes Uganda for negligence after they used defective Lifeguard condoms that burst during sex, leading to the contraction of HIV/Aids.
In a February 18 civil suit filed before the Civil division of the High court, a copy of which The Observer has seen, the two are seeking for a declaration that Marie Stopes was negligent and, therefore, they want special damages, general damages, exemplary damages, interest and costs of this suit.
Kintu claims that in October, 2019, he bought a packet Lifeguard condoms batch No 1904205 from a drug shop in Kapeeka, Nakaseke but the condom burst during sex, hence exposing him to unprotected sex. “Having tested HIV-negative, twice before in June and September 2019, the first plaintiff (Kintu) tested HIV-positive on the November 6, 2019,” reads part of the plaint.
For his part, Balinya claims he contracted gonorrhoea after using the Lifeguard condoms. The defectiveness of Lifeguard condoms came to light in November last year when Sarah Opendi, the then state minister for Health, told parliament that two batches of Lifeguard condoms [No. 1904205 and No. 19050105] had been illegally rolled to the public and without following the prescribed procedure by Marie Stopes.
She added that after they were tested and analysed by National Drug Authority, they were found to be defective. Following Opendi’s statement, National Drug Authority later recalled the said batches of Lifeguard condoms that were illegally on market and had failed a test of freedom from holes and burst properties.
The duo is represented by four law firms led by Dr Amon Aruho. Court has not yet set a date for Marie Stopes to file a defence.