A couple is suing Hwange Colliery Company and its hospital for $30 000, alleging the institution’s staff caused the death of their unborn baby and sterilised the mother without her consent.
The Hwange couple, Levie Ncube and Tawanda Chinguvo, are claiming $30 000, arguing they lost their baby during delivery due to negligence by staff at the hospital and that Ncube was operated on without her consent or that of her husband, leading to her being sterilised in the process.
Hwange Colliery Company Limited and Hwange Colliery Hospital are cited as first and second defendants.
Part of the lawsuit reads:“The plaintiff’s claim against defendants is for payment of $10 000 being damages occasioned by the loss of a baby at birth due to 2nd defendant’s (hospital) negligence, $10 000 being damages for permanent infertility occasioned by 2nd defendant’s negligent surgical operation on 1st plaintiff (Ncube) without her consent.
Payment of $5 000 for past, present and future remedial costs arising out of the 2nd defendant’s negligent surgical operation and $5 000 being damages of pain and suffering coming out of 2nd defendant’s negligent surgical operation on 1st plaintiff and defendants to pay the cost of the suit on a high scale,” claimed the couple in papers filed by their lawyer Solomon Mguni at the High Court in Bulawayo on July 12 this year.
In her founding affidavit contained in the file HC1907/11, Ncube said on Independence Day, her pregnancy became due for delivery as per the advice of the staff at the hospital and she went to the hospital around 12 noon for medical attention.
“The 2nd defendant(Hwange Colliery) was duly advised that 1st plaintiff would be admitted and await the attention of the medical doctor on call. 1st plaintiff (Ncube) advised nurses on duty that she was feeling unbearable pain and wanted to be attended to by a medical doctor without any further delay. The doctor in question was notified and actually confirmed to the nurses that he was privy to the 1st plaintiff (Ncube)’s medical history as she was his patient for a long time,” said Ncube.
“Three shifts came and went between 12 noon and 8pm with the doctor in no-show. The nurses concerned kept on advising that the medical doctor had been advised. The doctor did not attend until there came in another shift after 8pm which was the fourth shift from the time 1st plaintiff was admitted.
A male nurse had to attend to 1st plaintiff (Ncube) who then advised that he had observed that the baby was having complications in breathing. The first plaintiff (Ncube) was taken to the theatre at 9pm and at that time she was now very tired and fatigued,” reads the affidavit.
Ncube said she was only attended by to by the doctor after 9pm. The doctor put her on a life-support system until the following day.
“The first plaintiff (Ncube) spent the night in hospital upon which the following day she was put in the intensive care unit’s side ward. The doctor who attended to 1st plaintiff (Ncube) advised that he had failed to see the child and that 1st plaintiff (Ncube) had narrowly escaped death because the baby had ruptured the uterus. The doctor confirmed that he had done a caesarian section and had difficulties locating the baby to the extent that the surgical operation had to extend to the upper abdomen. Post-natal medical exams indicate that the surgical operation had caused disturbances to the intestines,” submitted Ncube.
She said it was also confirmed that in the process of operating her, the doctor allegedly tied her fallopian tubes without her consent, thereby leading to permanent infertility as she no longer can conceive.