By NWOGHA NDUBUISI ANDY, Abakaliki
A Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, presided over by Justice Aluko on has awarded damages in the sum of fifty million Naira to the plaintiffs in a case of medical negligence against the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.
The suit was instituted in 2016 by Mrs. Ifeyinwa Awada, the victim of the medical negligence, and her father, Alhaji Nwugo Chimere Nwugo, as the 2nd plaintiff.
The claim of the plaintiffs was that the hospital acted negligently in attending to the 1st plaintiff, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Awada, who was pregnant and went to the hospital for delivery which led to the death of her baby.
The Consultant Gynecologist, who was on call that night and who should have attended to the 1st plaintiff, left to an unknown destination and refused to pick his calls as well as reply the text messages sent to him when the 1st plaintiff’s condition became critical and his attention needed.
The father of the 1st plaintiff who is also the 2nd plaintiff in the suit, asked that the patient be discharged against medical advice for him to take her to a place she will be attended to with more care and attention but the hospital refused.
One thing led to another and before they could take the woman to the theatre for CS, the baby had died and they gave the woman a dead baby for her 9 months labour and risk of her life without a word of condolence or apology.
The Court, after agreeing with the plaintiffs by asserting that they have proved their case of negligence against FETHA and the consultant Gaenecologist, awarded #50m in damages to the plaintiffs against the hospital. The court also assessed the cost of the suit at #200k in favour of the plaintiffs.
However, sympathizers who witnessed the judgement described the order as the first of its kind in Ebonyi State and they believed that with the landmark judgement, our health practitioners will apply more caution and treat their patients as their fellow human beings, not just as sick people.