Indian News

Court awards family $168k

Source: , Posted On:   11 December 2020

Court awards family $168k

The family of an infant has been awarded $168,260 by the High Court in Lautoka in a case of medical negligence by a nurse at the Ba Health Centre and medical staff members at the Lautoka Hospital.

Two-year-old Kitione Tiko was taken to the Ba Health Centre two years ago for an injury caused by a small piece of stick that had pierced the infant’s tongue a day before.

A nurse advised his father, Viliame Tiko, to take his son home and treat the injury with warm water and salt.

According to court records, Mr Tiko insisted that a doctor attend to the infant, but he was denied.

Two days later, the infant was rushed back to the Ba Health Centre because he was not eating and there was swelling on the right side of his face.

The child was examined by a doctor and transferred to Lautoka Hospital where Mr Tiko claimed he was told the infant would undergo surgery but he was not told in detail of the seriousness of the infection.

Mr Tiko further claimed a nurse gave an injection to the infant without consulting the ward doctor.

“On the evidence, and having been satisfied on the balance of probability, I hold that the doctors and nurses at Ba Health Centre and at Lautoka Hospital were negligent in diagnosing and in treatment of the plaintiff (child), resulting in the death of the child, and thereby breached their duty of care owed to the plaintiff,” Justice Mohamed Ajmeer said in his December 2 ruling.

“This follows that the first defendant (The permanent secretary for health) is vicariously liable to the death of the child and is also liable to pay damages to the plaintiff.

“Evidence before court revealed that the plaintiff’s son, 2-year-old baby was healthy, no breathing problem and stable pre-operatively.

“The doctors and nurses at Ba Health Centre and at Lautoka Hospital owed the duty to the plaintiff to ensure that his injury as he presented at the Ba Health Centre was diagnosed and treated to the standard of prudent nurses and doctors exercising reasonable care.”

Justice Ajmeer awarded general damages of $25,000, loss of earnings amounting to $132,600, $10,000 for exemplary damages and $660 for special damages.

Mr Tiko was also awarded $3000 in court costs.