Mother Awarded Ksh 44 Million After Hospital's Blunder

  • An empty court room.
    An empty court room.
  • A city hospital will pay a woman Ksh 44 million after her son suffered severe cerebral palsy during a delivery that was found to have been marred with negligence.

    Purity Kemunto was seeking justice for her son in court, arguing that the doctor's negligence led to her son's ailing condition.

    The troubled mother sought compensation owing to the child's welfare and also legal costs incurred.

    File image of doctors in line of duty
    File image of doctors in line of duty

    According to court documents, it all started in May 2007, after Purity Kemunto checked in to the hospital expecting to deliver her child. The checkup saw the doctor rule that she was strong for normal delivery, a decision she stated, would ultimately ruin her son's life.

    Kemunto argued that she had persistently requested for doctors to constantly monitor her condition after every 30 minutes owing to severe labour pains but the doctors did not heed her call.

    According to Kemunto, she was rushed to the theatre two days later where she delivered through a cesarean section. The mother noted that the baby did not cry upon delivery and had breathing problems. This, she noted, were the first signs that perturbed her. 

    Soon after the doctors informed her that her baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. 

    “Had the labour been monitored, the caesarean section would have been done well before 1pm. The baby would have been born healthy. The doctor had erroneously insinuated that I had a pelvis that could deliver normally,” Kemunto stated in court.

    In its defense, the city hospital dismissed the claims arguing that the doctors had constantly monitored the patient. Furthermore, they noted that it was the primary responsibility of the parent to take care of the child and not the hospital. 

    In the first ruling by the high court, Justice Mbogholi Msagha deemed that the hospital should be held 90% accountable and awarded the mother Ksh 54 million.

    Not satisfied with the ruling, the hospital appealed the decision at the Court of Appeal seeking to reduce the amount which it described as excessive. 

    However, Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Gatembu Kairu and Agnes Murgor upheld the ruling by the High Court. The hospital had already deposited Ksh 10 million from the Ksh 54 million to cater for the child's welfare.

    A court Gavel.
    A court Gavel.