Medical Negligence: N500 M Suit Against Federal Medical Center Begins

Late Sandra David

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday began hearing in the case of alleged medical negligence brought against the Federal Medical Center Abuja and four others.

The matter, which was first slated to begin in January, has suffered repeated adjournment following the inability of the counsel to conclude pleadings and court’s failure to sit on some adjourned dates.

The case was filed by Portia Sambo, whose daughter, Sandra David, died allegedly as a result of negligence by the hospital.

Mrs. Sambo is asking the hospital to pay N500 million in damages for its handling of her daughter’s ill health that led to her death in July 2016.

The suit was filed against the Ministry of Health, the Federal Medical Centre Abuja, the Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Chinwe Igwilo; two medical practitioner’s at the hospital, Obed Dades and Amadi Ikechukwu, as well as the office of the Attorney General of the Federation.

The matter has been at the preliminary stage since after it was assigned to Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja. On the date the suit  first  came up, Plaintiff’s counsel Charles Abalaka Esq.,  informed the Honourable Court that he was yet to serve the processes on  all the defendants.

There was also no progress on the suit at the last two adjourned dates of 30th March and June 1, 2017

However, at the resumed hearing on Monday, 3rd July, 2017,  counsel  for the Ministry of Health, Ozoemelam Ikechi, prayed the court to hear his motion for extension of time, to file his statement of defence as well as a preliminary objection. Mr. Ikechi however did not serve some of the defendants the motion he intended to move.

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Also, the 2nd to 5th Defendants were not represented in court necessitating a further adjournment to October 18 for hearing.

The allegation of negligence,  by the family of the deceased Miss David is also being investigated by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.

It would be recalled that  Sandra David, a 29-year-old staff of the Bank of Agriculture, underwent surgery sometime in March 2016 at the Federal Staff Hospital, FSH, Abuja for a minor procedure which allegedly let to her death due to series of negligence by the surgeons that performed the surgery.

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