Cou­ple up­set over ‘drag­ging’ case

Lesotho Times - - News - ’Marafaele Mohloboli

A HA Thet­sane fam­ily has ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment over a civil case they opened against Queen ’Mamo­hato Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal which has been pend­ing be­fore the High Court since Oc­to­ber 2013.

Mo­let­sane Mpopo (29) and his 28-year-old wife, Lerato, sued the hos­pi­tal for M14 mil­lion on 15 Oc­to­ber 2013 fol­low­ing the birth of their son at the fa­cil­ity.

Ac­cord­ing to pa­pers filed by Mr Mpopo be­fore the High Court, the baby was born in June 2012 “with per­ma­nent brain dam­age and per­ma­nent men­tal and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties, among oth­ers, all caused by the de­fen­dant’s em­ploy­ees’ reck­less­ness and neg­li­gence”.

Mr Mpopo nar­rates in the court pa­pers that the hos­pi­tal staff kept his wife “for sev­eral hours” be­fore giv­ing her the as­sis­tance she needed.

“When they even­tu­ally at­tended to her, they did so in the most reck­less and un­pro­fes­sional man­ner in that they in­ter alia at­tempted to push the baby out by sheer use of force. When their un­skill­ful and reck­less at­tempts to de­liver the baby failed, they be­lat­edly took my wife into theatre for a cae­sar­ian sec­tion which they reck­lessly per­formed any­way,” says Mr Mpopo.

“At the end of the said be­lated tri­als and er­rors on the part of the de­fen­dant’s em­ploy- ees, the baby was b born with per­ma­nent brain dam­age and per­ma­nent­perma men­tal and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties among o oth­ers.”

As a re­sult of th the “neg­li­gence”, Mr Mpopo says his son would not be able to do any­thing for him­self for the rest of his life, hence the fam­ily’s de­mand for M14mil­lion in com­pensa

tion. “The su sum herein sought will never com come any­where near mak­ing good the dam­age in­flicted on my child by the de­fen­dant’s empl em­ploy­ees,” he fur­ther says.

M Mr Mpopo says M5mil­lion is fo for “life­long dis­fig­ure­ment, defo de­for­mity and dis­abil­i­ties”, M3 M3mil­lion for “loss of ameni­ties ties”, M5mil­lion for “fu­ture los loss of earn­ing ca­pac­ity”, M M500 000 for “fu­ture med­ica cal ex­penses” and M500 00 000 for “life­long emo­tional st stress”.

The com­pen­sa­tion is bein ing sought at an in­ter­est r rate of 18.5 per­cent per ann num.

Mr Mpopo is also claim­ing costs of the suit.

How­ever, the cou­ple this week said the fam- ily was dis­ap­pointed that the case re­mains pend­ing in the court three years on.

“since the birth of our child, our lives have be­come one big pain. see­ing him is a con­stant re­minder that he will never en­joy a nor­mal life,” said Ms Mpopo, who is a third-year stu­dent at the na­tional Univer­sity of Le­sotho.

“And since this court case started, I have been emo­tion­ally drained. The case is eat­ing us up and with it drag­ging like this, it feels like the sys­tem is deny­ing us jus­tice.

“It is tak­ing way too long, and I can’t even con­cen­trate on my stud­ies be­cause each time some­thing comes up, I have to con­sult with my lawyer.”

A re­port of the child’s brain-scan done on 24 Au­gust 2015, reads in part: “… The in­jury pat­tern in this brain is global and pro­found. The de­gree of the de­struc­tion and non­de­script pat­tern in­volv­ing both the pe­riph­ery and deep grey nu­clei sug­gest a cat­a­strophic, per­sis­tent and pro­found hy­poxic is­chemic in­jury of the supra­ten­to­rial brain”.

King’s Coun­sel sale­mane Phafane, who is rep­re­sent­ing the fam­ily in the case, said he could not com­ment on the mat­ter.

“I won’t go into the de­tails of the case since it’s still be­fore the court, but what I can say is that ul­ti­mately, jus­tice shall be served,” Ad­vo­cate Phafane said.

Ad­vo­cate Sale­mane Phafane (Kc)

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