The parents of a seven-year-old boy, who sustained severe brain damage because of a lack of oxygen during his birth, have won the first leg of their R20.4 million damages claim against the Gauteng health MEC.
Judge Wendy Hughes ruled in the North Gauteng High Court that the MEC was 100% liable for the damages sustained by Liz-Marie Booyse, her husband Jacob and their son Johannes, because of the negligence of staff at the Tshwane district hospital during the boy’s birth in February 2010.
Booyse, a stock controller of Bon Accord, and her husband, who drives a bus, instituted the massive damages claim in their personal capacity and on behalf of their son, who suffers from severe spastic quadriplegic palsy.
They claimed damages for their son’s medical costs, special equipment and therapy, future loss of earnings and three full-time caregivers for the remainder of his life.
A civil trial to determine the amount of damages the MEC must pay was postponed. Booyse went to the hospital on February 7, 2010, but was told she was experiencing false labour and sent home.
She went back the next evening, but was left unattended for over two hours. Judge Hughes said the warning bells should have been ringing when Booyse was admitted for the second time, yet the sister who attended to her did not follow acceptable procedures and protocol.