alexa Court orders hospital to pay woman Sh25m for negligence - Daily Nation

Court orders hospital to pay woman Sh25m for negligence

Friday September 20 2019

Lucy Kinya

Ms Lucy Kinya, who became paralysed in 2016 after a medical procedure at St John of God Hospital in Tigania East. PHOTO | CHARLES WANYORO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

CHARLES WANYORO
By CHARLES WANYORO
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The High Court in Meru has ordered a hospital to pay a woman Sh25 million for medical negligence.

The court heard that the 30-year-old mother became disabled after giving birth to twins following a medical treatment at St John of God Hospital in Tigania.

Justice Alfred Mabeya ruled that the staff at the hospital had caused the harm on Ms Lucy Kinya after injecting her when she visited the health centre.

While delivering the judgment, Justice Mabeya said that after listening to medical experts and evaluating the evidence tabled during the case, he was convinced that Ms Kinya had suffered permanent disability and the hospital was liable.

LETHAL INJECTION

Ms Kinya had told the court she arrived at the hospital on June 25, 2016 to give birth to her twins and while in the theatre she four injections were administered on her spine at around 8am.

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She regained consciousness nine hours later but when she tried to rise up, she was unable to move her feet which had turned black.

Ms Kinya sued the hospital's administrator and the Catholic Diocese of Meru trustees eeking general, exemplary and special damages, future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity and future earning capacity as well as the costs of the suit.

She narrated to the court how she had sold all her household items to take care of herself and her two children.

PERMANENT DISABILITY

During the case that spanned 32 months, medics testified that she had indeed suffered permanent disability and would require life time care and other expenses.

Dr Nicholas Koome Guantai, a medical officer based at the Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital told the court that Ms Kinya would require physiotherapy, catheter changes and pressure sores which are inevitable.

He said the injury caused paralysis of both legs and total loss of sensation, motor sensation loss of bladder control and relied on indwelling urinary catheter that was changed every two weeks.

The plaintiff also lost bowel control and relied on adult diapers on round-the-clock basis, and was also undergoing treatment for bed sores as well as physiotherapy.

Dr Charles Wangai, the assistant chief physiotherapist at the same hospital confirmed that she was permanently paralysed.

DENIED LIABILITY

The defendants had denied the allegations saying they were not liable for the actions of the doctor and hospital staff who administered the harmful injection.

Justice Mabeya awarded her Sh6million general damages, Sh7.2m for a caregiver, Sh3.24 million for loss of earnings, Sh1.2million for special damages and Sh8 million for future medical expenditure.

The special damages shall attract interest from the date of filing of the case until yesterday, while the entire sum of Sh25,689,000 shall attract interest at court rate from the date of the judgment until payment in full.

The judge frowned upon the manner in which the hospital staff treated Ms Kinya when they realised that she was paralysed, and even withheld the fact from her, only for her to discover it a week later at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

They also failed to release her medical records and she was forced to source them from the Medical and Dentists Board.

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