Justice Kazeem Alogba of an Ikeja High Court has fixed June 20 for judgement in a N10 billion suit by Nicole Adesanya against the Lagos State government.
Adesanya is the child whose brain was allegedly damaged during birth at Somolu General Hospital seven years ago, owing to alleged negligence of the medical practitioners in the hospital.
Nicole’s father, Mr. Adebiyi Adesanya, sued the Lagos State Government, seeking N10 billion as damages for his daughter’s condition, which, he alleged, was caused by the negligence of government medical officers.
But the suit, which was filed by their counsel, Mr. Don Akaegbu, on March 4, 2013, was referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) for possible resolution by Justice Josephine Oyefeso.
Nicole and her father are the first and second claimants. The Health Service Commission, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, and the Attorney-General are the defendants.
The case file was returned to the court three years after when the ADR failed and was reassigned to Justice Alogba.
Adesanya alleged that his wife, Funmilola, was kept in labour between June 22 and June 23, 2011, for caesarean section that ought to have been carried out immediately.
He claimed that his daughter, who is now seven years old this month, and was delivered through caesarean section, “does not sit, turn, talk, walk, nor show signs of development inherent in normal children”.
Nicole’s brain seizures, according to her father, started in the third month after her birth.
The father said medical tests indicated that his daughter’s condition was caused by birth asphyxia (lack of oxygen during birth).
He narrated how his wife was kept in labour for more than 24 hours at Somolu General Hospital, and later at Island Maternity, waiting for the operation.
The claimants are, therefore, seeking N1.5 billion as damages for Nicole’s permanent injury, which includes “physical and psychological harm, pain, suffering and disability”.
They are also seeking for another order “awarding N8 billion as compensation for the father’s loss of his job in the course of attending to the young girl, medical expenses, and life care expenses”.
But, the state, in its statement of defence, denied the claimants’ allegations, insisting that it was not liable for damages for any injury.
The defendants averred that, “all the tests carried out so far on the first claimant could not conclusively establish a link between the alleged delay on the part of defendant’s medical team to perform the caesarean section, and the medical condition that the first claimant is exhibiting presently”.
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