Gauteng Health found liable for rugby player’s death

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The High Court (Pretoria) has ruled that Gauteng Health is to pay damages following the death of local rugby league player Zacharius Johannes de Lange’s at the Steve Biko Hospital.

The Citizen reports that de Lange on 18 September, 2015, sustained a spinal cord injury while playing a rugby league game for the Silverbacks against the Predators. Following De Lange’s admission at the Steve Biko Hospital, he was diagnosed as an incomplete quadriplegic.

Jean-Paul Rudd, partner at Adams & Adams Attorneys, said: “Medical personnel at Steve Biko scheduled de Lange for a cervical decompression on 20 September 2015, in an attempt to reduce the compression. But de Lange developed significant respiratory dysfunction and eventually passed away on 21 September 2015, from cardiac arrest, despite attempts to resuscitate him.”

“Following De Lange’s admission at the Steve Biko Hospital, he was diagnosed with incomplete quadriplegia.

“Medical personnel at Steve Biko scheduled him for a cervical decompression in attempt to reduce the compression. But De Lange developed significant respiratory dysfunction and eventually passed away on 21 September 2015 from cardiac arrest despite attempts to resuscitate him.”

“In expert reports filed, it was alleged that the standard of medical care, treatment, management and monitoring of De Lange fell way below the skill, care and diligence one could have expected from medical personnel in a similar situation,” he said

The court ruled that the Gauteng Health is liable to compensate de Lange’s wife and two children for 100% of the damages they sustained following de Lange’s passing. A quantum trial date is yet to be set.

The Citizen report

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