KNH to pay family Sh200k for professional negligence


Entrance to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) will pay Sh200,000 to the family of a patient who died at the facility eight years ago as a result of negligence.

This was after Justice Joseph Sergon dismissed an appeal by KNH, that sought to overturn the amount arguing that it was excessive.

The Judge said senior resident magistrate Peter Muholi, who awarded the family of Joseph Maina King’ori the amount, did not breach any principle when he settled on the amount.

The judge said the magistrate considered the pain the family endured as they waited for Mr Maina to be attended to by doctors at the country’s biggest referral hospital in December 2012.

“With respect, it is clear that the learned Senior Resident Magistrate did not breach any principle in assessing damages on this head, I am satisfied the award is reasonable,” the Judge said.

The family, through legal representative Loise King’ori, had pleaded to be paid Sh1.5 million while KNH proposed Sh10,000.

The court heard that Maina was a patient at KNH but succumbed to his illness on December 3, 2012 because nurses allegedly delayed in giving him prompt treatment. The family accused KNH of incompetence or negligence.

After being ordered to pay the family, KNH appealed saying the magistrate erred by awarding Maina’s mother- Hannah Nyaguthii, for lost years, saying that there was nothing to show that the mother depended on him.

Ms King’ori maintained that she filed the case on behalf of the beneficiaries and future dependants of Mr Maina. She stated that the deceased was survived by his mother, who depended on her son.

Justice Sergon noted that during cross-examination KNH did not raise any questions on the existence of Maina’s mother and dependency.  “In short, the appellant failed to deny the respondent’s assertion that the deceased was survived by his mother,” the Judge said.