Justice has been served despite the long 8 years wait. 37-year-old Michael Mwangi died after part of his brain was removed during a tumor operation. His widowed wife Monicah Wairimu, awarded 6million as compensation.
When giving her ruling, Justice Lucy Njuguna declared that AIC Kijabe Hospital should compensate Mwangi’s family. According to her, Mwangi is a victim of medical negligence. She also added that if not for the fatal mistake Mwangi would still be providing for his family.
“The court finds that the hospital breached the duty of care owed to the deceased. He was the family’s breadwinner. As a result of his demise, his family lost his support. The hospital must compensate his family,” Judge Njuguna ruled.
THE CASE FILING
Wairimu filed a suit against lead surgeon Leland Albright and the hospital. She seeks compensation for the pain her husband went through before his untimely demise. According to her statements, Wairimu took her husband to the hospital after he complained of severe headaches. However, doctors discovered he has a brain tumor and surgery was the only hope of removing it.
On December 16th, 2012, Mwangi was admitted to the hospital. 11 days later, on 27th December he was taken to the ICU after surgery. He was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until January 16th, 2013. On this fateful day, they transferred him to the general ward. Nevertheless, Mwangi succumbed after seven days.
In addition, Monicah told the court that after her husband’s death an independent pathologist performed a post-mortem. According to the results, his brain seems to be mistakenly removed instead of the tumor. Mwangi succumbed due to this.
According to the pathologist report, Mwangi’s death seems to be procedure-related. Upon opening the skull the pathologist found 15mm of his brain missing. When giving their response to the suit, Dr. Albright and the hospital were relying on a finding by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board. The medical board did rule on April 19th, 2016 the deceased’s brain had no interference.
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Moreover, they claimed that they only removed a small portion of the tumor before excessive bleeding started. As a result, the doctors had to abandon the surgery. The board acquitted the hospital and the doctors from any blame. According to them, they did their best when taking care of the patient after the surgery. The board made a verdict ruling out any case of medical negligence.
Justice Njuguna dismissed the defense and the medical board’s findings. She questioned why they ignored the pathologist’s post-mortem report. For instance, the report does indicate the part of the deceased’s brain was removed. This occurred during surgery.
Brain Mistaken For Tumor.
Mwangi was an employee of United Paints in the transport department where he was earning 35,000 per month before his untimely death. In addition, he used to pay school fees for his kids and rent for the family. According to the judge’s ruling, Mwangi still had 18 more years in employment. When multiplying his salary with the number of years to retirement it sums up to 5,040,000.
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Henceforth, Judge Njuguna awarded sh140,000 for special damages with interest. In addition to this, the deceased’s family will be given 650,000. This is to pay for the damages incurred during hospitalization.