A hospital has been ordered to pay a woman Sh32 million for medical negligence as the court decides how the Sh22 million balance will be paid.
Nairobi Women’s Hospital was in May ordered to pay Purity Kemunto Sh54 million after admitting liability for medical negligence as she gave birth.
The hospital agreed to pay Sh10 million, which it argues is the limit for insurance.
The hospital then sued its insurer, ICEA Lion, claiming the agreement with the firm for medical indemnity was only Sh10 million.
Yesterday, Justice Mbogholi Msagha directed the hospital to first pay the Sh10 million that is not disputed.
For the disputed balance of Sh44 million, he directed the hospital to pay Sh22 million and the balance be secured by a bank guarantee as the hospital pursues a review of the compensation.
After a nine-year battle in court, Kemunto might finally get medical care for her son.
The judge ordered the hospital to pay the money within 30 days.
“The main subject of that judgement is Kemunto is in dire need of financial support, and it may not serve the interests of justice if settlement is delayed beyond reasonable periods,” he ruled.
He observed that Kemunto had nothing to do with the new war between the medical facility and the insurer.
“There is no submission that if the first defendant settles the plaintiff’s claim, it may not recover the decretal sum from the intended interested party (ICEA) in the event the appeal succeeds,” he ruled.
In an application, the hospital said it was not consulted before the insurance firm agreed to pay the patient.
“Considering ICEA Lion knew there was a limit to our cover, yet they went ahead to discuss issues of quantum over and above our limit under the policy and subsequently issue instructions to commit us on liability at 90 per cent points to massive fraud and collusion,” read the application filed by Ngira & Associates.
The hospital wants to go to the Court of Appeal.
It said it was not challenging the judgement but asked the court to force the insurer to indemnify it beyond the Sh10 million premium.
[Jean Ruhiu, Audrey Korir and Kamau Muthoni]