While the Eastern Cape Treasury is taking extraordinary legal measures to staunch billions of rands in payments for past medico-legal claims, the crippled Health Department is steadily losing new negligence claims, reports Daily Despatch.
And, writes the newspaper, attorney Zuko Nonxuba – facing criminal fraud charges as well as action to strike him from the attorneys’ roll – is one of the lawyers who continues to thrash the department in court.
As previously reported in MedicalBrief, Eastern Cape Health obtained an interim interdict preventing Nonxuba from putting into effect writs of execution he has against the department for about R79m. The R79m is owed to six of Nonxuba’s clients, who have successfully sued the Health Department for damages in medical negligence cases.
Nonxuba’s firm, Nonxuba Inc, had previously fraudulently sought and obtained orders against both the Eastern and Western Cape Health Departments without the authority of the ‘supposed claimants’ it claimed to represent, according to papers filed int he case.
These claims were being investigated by the Legal Practices’ Council (LPC) and the Special Investigations Unit. Eastern Cape Health said three medico-legal damages claims that had led to Nonxuba facing criminal charges showed claims on behalf of various claimants that were “often contrived, and part of an elaborate and well-orchestrated scheme”.
Daily Despatch writes in this week’s report that if the recent High Court actions are in any way fraudulent, Nonxuba “is pulling off the biggest deception of all time, with the department’s top lawyers seemingly unable to defend it against a tide of medico-legal cases in which the courts almost always attribute horrific birth defects in newborns to departmental negligence”.
“In almost every case a long line of medical specialists testifies against the department while its own medical staff seem unable to defend their action or inaction and can seldom use their utterly hopeless hospital record-keeping to defend themselves.”
In the past three weeks, Nonxuba’s firm has won two more court cases that are likely to result in damages payouts of millions. Both cases involve serious medical negligence on the part of hospitals resulting in two women giving birth to babies who suffered severe and permanent brain damage.
In the past three weeks, Nonxuba’s firm has won two more court cases that are likely to result in damages payouts of millions, reports Daily Despatch.
Both these cases involve serious medical negligence on the part of hospitals resulting in two women giving birth to babies that suffered severe and permanent brain damage.
In a case in early October, All Saints Memorial Hospital in Stutterheim was found by the high court in Makhanda to have failed to exercise reasonable skill and care during a woman’s labour and ruled that its negligence caused the baby’s lifelong injury, including severe brain injury, mixed cerebral palsy, spasticity, dyskinesia and epilepsy.
The latest judgment, handed down by the Bhisho High Court this week, similarly found Bambisana Hospital in Lusikisiki negligent and responsible for a baby being born with “spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and developmental delay”.
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