Gauteng health MEC ordered to pay compensation to child victim of negligence

Issued by Mediaservices on behalf of Christopher Consulting
Attention: News editors
15 March 2017

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Gauteng health MEC ordered to pay compensation to child victim of negligence

Despite assurances by the health ministry that South Africa’s hospitals were safe and places where the safety and welfare of patients came first, yet another case of negligence has been adjudicated against the Gauteng MEC.

The mother of a toddler who fell out of his hospital bed while being treated for pneumonia, sustaining a concussion and a fractured leg will be receiving R150 000 in damages from the MEC for Health.

The health authorities denied culpability claiming that the two-year old had jumped out of bed of his own volition and that they were not responsible for his injuries.

Hlako contended that her son was under their care and that it was incumbent upon them to look after him and to ensure that was safe.

She only noticed five days after the fall that he had a bump on his head and that his speech was abnormal.

It was only after the child had undergone a brain scan at the Steve Biko Hospital five days later that it became clear that he had sustained a concussion.

Doctors gave him antiepileptic medication and he was referred to a speech therapist before being taken back to Mamelodi Hospital.

The child was eventually discharged on April 27 2015.

The mother held the hospital staff responsible for the incident.

Sunelle Van Heerden, marketing manager for Christopher Consulting who funded the forensic investigation and who appointed the legal team said it was telling that none of the role players including the nurses whose job it was to take care of the toddler accepted responsibility for what had happened.

“They continued to claim that they had done nothing wrong and that child had ‘jumped out of bed’”.

Van Heerden said not enough people knew that they were liable for compensation when they were injured due to the negligence of others.

“I am amazed on a daily basis about how reckless people can be when it comes to the safety and wellbeing of others whether it be in hospital or in a public place.”

“We all have a reasonable expectation that we will be safe. When injury or death occurs as a result of negligence the injured parties have the right to be compensated for their loss.”

“Christopher Consulting funded the risk and all disbursements including the attorney’s and advocate’s fee, on the claim of Daniela Hlako on a no-win-no-fee basis. This gave her equal access to the law and to a world class legal team.”

Advocate JP Nel who acted on behalf of the mother said that the R150 000 settlement was reasonable under the circumstances.

Note to subs: For more information please contact Sunelle van Heerden of Christopher Consulting on 012 460 7050 or on her cell 083 738 0996