A BINDURA medical doctor, Lawrence Hlatshwayo, has filed a $1,5 million lawsuit against Freda Rebecca Gold Mine Holdings and Minerva Benefits Consulting firm for alleged impairment of professional reputation and loss of business.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Hlatshwayo issued his summons on July 31 this year, claiming that the gold mine, through Minerva Benefits Consulting, had breached a standing contract they had signed with him, where he provided outpatient and inpatient credit facilities for the mine employees and their dependants.
“Recently, defendants, without lawful justification, took a unilateral decision to convert plaintiff (Hlatshwayo) from credit to reimbursement access and proceeded to advise members of the Freda Rebecca Medical Fund that any consultations with the plaintiff would be on cash upfront basis,” the doctor said.
“Further, defendants went further and offered to refer fund members to other health service providers within the network, which move was calculated to impair plaintiff’s professional standing and adversely affect the viability of his operations.”
Hlatshwayo also said prior to the alleged confusion caused by the mine, he used to control a substantial clientele base within Bindura urban, most of whom were on the mine’s medical fund.
“As a result of defendant’s conduct aforementioned, the majority of plaintiff’s clients, mainly from first defendant’s medical fund, shunned and stopped visiting plaintiff’s medical facility for their healthcare needs. Due to the sudden reduction in the number of patients, plaintiff’s average monthly revenue from Birthsider Clinic was reduced from an average of $30 000 to around $2 000,” he said.
“Wherefore, plaintiff’s claim against defendants jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved, is for: Judgment in the sum of $1,2 million, being damages for impairment of plaintiff’s professional reputation; and $300 000 for revenue reduction due to defendant’s wrongful conduct, plus costs of suit.”
Both the mine and the consultancy firm are yet to respond to the summons.