State sued for R800k

Fam­ily de­mands com­pen­sa­tion for in­jured 5-year-old

Daily Dispatch - - News - By ARETHA LIN­DEN

THE par­ents of a five-yearold girl who frac­tured both her arms at the Brei­d­bach Pri­mary school’s play­ground ear­lier this year are su­ing the ed­u­ca­tion and health de­part­ments for a com­bined R800 000 for their child’s pain and suf­fer­ing.

The par­ents from Acorn Val­ley, near King Wil­liam’s Town want the two de­part­ments to pay R400 000 each for the May 19 ac­ci­dent.

The fam­ily’s at­tor­ney, Gor­don Stu­art Pope, from Pope At­tor­ney, said while the de­part­ment of health had asked for more in­for­ma­tion to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter, the de­part­ment of ed­u­ca­tion said “they do not con­sider such claims un­less it goes to court”.

“We are wait­ing for the out­come of the de­part­ment of health’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pro­ceed with sum­mons against the de­part­ment of ed­u­ca­tion,” said Pope.

Ac­cord­ing to the fa­ther, Rod­er­ick Fritz, said he re­ceived a call from the school in­form­ing him that his daugh­ter, who is Grade R, had fallen from a swing and was taken to the lo­cal clinic in Brei­d­bach.

“We rushed to the clinic, which is a few me­tres from the school. We met our daugh­ter ac­com­pa­nied by a staff mem­ber along the way back from the clinic,” said Fritz.

A note from the clinic seen by the Daily Dis­patch stated there was no swelling, and she could ro­tate both her arms.

“We had to carry her home be­cause we could see she was not well at all. When we got home she started cry­ing and was in a lot of pain. When we took off her clothes we saw both her arms were bruised and swollen.

“We rushed her to Grey Hos­pi­tal, where it was es­tab­lished that both her arms were bro­ken above the el­bows. The doc­tor on duty said it ap­pears she fell from a very high place and landed on her el­bows,” said Fritz, who is a po­lice of­fi­cer in King Wil­liam’s Town.

Fritz said a few days af­ter the in­ci­dent they went back to the school to get an­swers, but were not sat­is­fied with the re­port from the school. “The prin­ci­pal showed no re­morse, in­stead he told me such things hap­pen.”

Fritz said he pro­ceeded to clinic where he was met by re­morse­ful sis­ter-in-charge.

“Even though she [sis­ter-in­charge] apol­o­gised, they still mis­di­ag­nosed and caused her more pain by flex­ing and ro­tat­ing her arms,” said Fritz.

Provin­cial health spokesman Sizwe Ku­pelo said Fritz’s case was one of 300 that the de­part­ment had ap­pointed Smith Ta­bata At­tor­neys, who are part of a con­sor­tium, to as­sist in fight­ing all medico-le­gal claims.

His ed­u­ca­tion coun­ter­part Mal­i­bongwe Mtima said he would rather not com­ment un­til the mat­ter was fi­nalised in court.

“All we want is com­pen­sa­tion for our daugh­ters’s pain and suf­fer­ing, be­cause the in­ci­dent has left her scared, both phys­i­cally and psyc said Fritz. — flex and the the

Pic­ture: SUPPLIED

DE­MAND­ING JUS­TICE: A Brei­d­bach par­ent is su­ing the de­part­ments of ed­u­ca­tion and health for R400 000 each for neg­li­gence. The claim fol­lows an in­jury to his daugh­ter at the Brei­d­bach Pri­mary school in May

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