Medical Negligence Costs Hospital Owner 1.1 million Birr

Hayat Hospital (credit: Addis Fortune)
Hayat Hospital (credit: Addis Fortune)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Cassation Bench reduced damages from 4.9 million Br and resorted to equity, not law, on some points.

The Cassation Bench of the Federal Supreme Court may have trespassed its jurisdiction, according to an expert, in reducing a 2.4 million Br that the Supreme Court had decided Hayat Hospital’s owner, Ibrahim Nawd, should pay in damages for negligent delivery at the hospital, to 1.1 million Br, even though the Bench found no error of law.

The October 6, 2015 ruling by the Cassation Bench brought the amount of the claim down from the 4.9 million Br, which both the High Court and the Supreme Court had maintained, for the mother who claimed that her daughter, delivered at Hayat, had sustained a degree of paralysis in both arms because of the attending doctor’s negligence in managing the process.

The judges who passed the decision at the bench were Almaw Wole, Reta Tolosa, Mustefa Ahmed, Kene’a Qitata and Lellise Dessalegn.

According to the claim the health defect was caused by the doctor’s failure to comply with standard medical procedures that should be followed during assisted delivery.  Hence the mother, Aster Solomon, initially asked for 4.9 million Br as a remedy for her daughter’s lifelong injury-related expenses, including costs for medical treatment in and outside of the country and special institutions required to care for her due to the resulting disability.

But Ibrahim, the defendant, as a first count of defense, raised the statute of limitations, which the law requires to be two years in cases of tort. His second stance of defense was related to the efficiency and high standard of his hospital, arguing that it is adequately equipped with needed technologies as well as qualified specialists, including the specialist doctor in the case, Yilma Aseres. The defendant said the woman already had a health problem when she came to his hospital and that she did not support her claim of negligence in observing medical procedures with any proof.

Read more at: Addis Tribune