News / South Africa

Ilse de Lange
2 minute read
1 Mar 2017
6:26 am

Defence minister sued for R2.7 million after fall at 1 Military Hospital

Ilse de Lange

Lynette de Beer alleges she was walking towards the main exit when she slipped on a wet floor and dislocated her shoulder.

Photo: Supplied

A Centurion woman who lost the use of her right arm after slipping and falling on a wet floor at 1 Military Hospital four years ago has instituted a damages claim for nearly R2.7 million against the defence minister.

Lynette de Beer, a service manager at an insurance company, was at the hospital in June 2012 to consult her orthopaedic surgeon after an earlier neck operation.

She was walking towards the main exit when she slipped on a recently washed floor.

De Beer suffered a fractured and dislocated shoulder, and immediately went to the casualty section, where she was later admitted for treatment.

She underwent surgery on her right shoulder about a week later, but it was not successful.

ALSO READ: It’s just two pieces of KFC, says MEC after spending R60k on inmates

De Beer has since undergone six operations, including two shoulder joint replacements.

But her shoulder joint was still dislocated and she could not undergo a further operation before the nerves and muscles in her shoulder had healed.

De Beer in court papers said she never regained any meaningful use of her right arm and shoulder and was placed on temporary disability leave in 2014.

She alleged her injuries were due to the negligence of the hospital, because the area where she fell carried heavy pedestrian traffic and should have been safe to use at all times.

Two eyewitnesses confirmed the area where she fell had been washed shortly before and had been left wet, and that there were no warning signs to alert pedestrians of the danger posed by the wet floor.

But the defence minister in court papers denied the floor was wet when De Beer fell, saying it had employed a private company, Prestige Cleaning Services, to clean the premises.

It said it could, therefore, not be held liable for De Beer’s damages.

For more news your way, follow The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.