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Court grants N50m damages to parents of unborn baby in Abakaliki



PARENTS of an unborn baby whose death was adjudged to be out of negligence by officials in Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (AE-FUTHA) formerly known as Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki (FETHA) have been awarded the sum of N50 million in damages by a Federal High Court sitting in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.


Justice Akintayo Aluko, who presided over the court, ruled that the amount will be adequate compensation from the hospital to parents of the dead baby, Mr. and Mrs. Nwugo Chimere, who are first and second plaintiffs in the suit for medical negligence. Justice Aluko also awarded N200, 000.00 to cover expenses incurred by the plaintiffs in prosecuting the case.


Mrs Awada told the court claimed that the hospital acted negligently in attending to her while she was in labour and their negligence resulted to the death of the baby in her womb. She also alleged that a consultant gynaecologist that was sued together with Management Board and Chief Medical Director, who was on call the day she was supposed to be delivered of her baby, left the hospital to an unknown destination without informing anyone and refused to answer telephone calls or reply text messages sent to him when her condition became critical and his attention was highly needed.


It was further gathered that the father of the unborn baby and husband of the 1st plaintiff, Nwugo, who is also the 2nd plaintiff in the suit, had asked that the patient be discharged against medical advice to enable him take her to another hospital where he believed his daughter would be properly attended to but the officers of the hospital on duty allegedly refused to grant the request.


According to him, this led to the baby’s death before they could take her to theatre for Caesarean Operation (CS). Effort to get hospital’s position on the matter from the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Emeka Ogah, proved unsuccessful as he hung up the phone when the issue was broached.




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