Sympathy but no payout for parents who lost son
The SCA has ruled against Andre and Sharon McGregor, who have fought a long struggle for damages since their lives took an unexpected turn on the night of 23 August 2011 when their son (6) suffered head injuries.
They wanted the Western Health MEC's office to be held accountable for what happened at the hospital, notes a News24 report.
A judgment penned by SCA Judge Malcolm John David Wallis described what happened to Justin as ‘a tragedy’.
Although he dismissed the couple's appeal, Wallis said the young boy's parents deserve every sympathy for what they have suffered as a result.
‘However, medical science has not advanced to the stage of diagnostic infallibility and there will be cases where, notwithstanding the best efforts of the medical profession, a tragedy like this occurs. Sympathy is not a ground for imposing legal liability in this or any case.’
The doctor involved denied negligence, saying she had palpated the swelling on his head and noted it as being simply 'a bump' and discharged the child, who tragically died that night.
On his return to the hospital a CT scan found an extradural haematoma between the skull and the dura surrounding the brain. The pressure exerted by this on the brain caused Justin's injury.
In his ruling, Wallis said ‘suddenness of a patient's decline means that it is difficult to tell at any stage that they are suffering from an extradural haematoma’.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.