A woman who had to have her leg amputated because of medical negligence at Grey’s Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, has been awarded R4.3m in damages, reports The Witness.
The woman told the newspaper that she had a long fight for justice and feels the award is unfair.
KZN High Court (Pietermaritzburg) Judge Mahendra Chetty said in a reserved judgment that the claim arose from the negligence of the medical practitioners at Grey’s Hospital where she received radiation to both her lower limbs for a type of skin cancer. Both her feet were radiated from her thighs to the soles, including her joints, between July 2010 and March 2011. “This was done without skin spacing. Despite undergoing physiotherapy, her skin became shrivelled, causing her to become partially immobile”.
She then sought a second medical opinion, which confirmed in October 2012 that her knees should not have been radiated. After initially defending this action, the MEC for Health later conceded liability.
All that was left for the court to decide was the amount she should be awarded in damages. Chetty took into account that prior to the trial, she underwent an above-knee amputation to her right leg, with the costs of the operation having been paid for by the MEC. In addition, interim payment of R900,000 was made for her medical expenses.
Full report in The Witness (subscription needed)