Nairobi News

Hustle

Court awards Sh25m to waitress who suffered permanent disability after giving birth

A 30-year-old former waitress who suffered permanent disability after giving birth to twins due to negligence by hospital staff in a Catholic Church run health facility has been awarded Sh25 million by the court.

Justice Alfred Mabeya, while sitting at the High Court in Meru, ruled that the staff at St John of God Hospital, Tigania East Meru County had caused the harm on Ms Lucy Kinya after injecting her when she visited the facility.

While making the judgment, Justice Mabeya ruled 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.

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

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

HAD HAPPENED

The medics declined to inform her what had happened and instead, mocked her saying that she was pretending and not serious.

Ms Kinya had sued the hospitals administrator and the Catholic Diocese of Meru trustees registered seeking 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.

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 Meru teaching and referral hospital, told the court Ms Kinya would require physiotherapy, catheter changes and pressure sores, which are inevitable.

INJURY CAUSED PARALYSIS

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 all round the clock basis, and was also undergoing for bed sores at Chaaria as well as physiotherapy.

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

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 Sh6 million in 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 realized that she was paralysed, and even withheld the fact from her, only for her to discover it a week later at Kenyatta National Hospital.

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