SALC supported a case in which the Plaintiff, who had undergone a total abdominal hysterectomy and developed complications, and she was later diagnosed as having a vaginal fistula. She failed to get adequate care and timely diagnosis and treatment of her problem and commenced legal proceedings against the defendant, in September 2015 claiming damages for medical negligence.
The High Court initially dismissed her claim, finding that her claim had prescribed because it was filed after 3years from the date she was aware of the claim. The Court found that she knew the facts giving rise to her claim when she first noticed the symptoms, and not of when she knew the reason for the symptoms.
The Plaintiff appealed against the High Court decision. In 2018 the Court of Appeal reinstituted the claim. The Court stated that the suspicion of the cause of the Plaintiff’s injury was insufficient to constitute knowledge because she did not know what had caused the leakage. Knowledge of the cause of her condition was a material fact to determine who was at fault. Thus, the relevant date for prescription was not the date she noticed the leaking but the date she became aware of the cause for the leaking.
Medical negligence claim
On 29 March 2022, the High Court awarded the Plaintiff damages of P400 000 as compensation for the breach of the duty of care owed to the Plaintiff by the medical personnel employed by the state.
Plaintiff was represented by Kelebogile Kewagamang of Kewagamang Legal