Crime and Courts

Dr Chirengwa US$100k lawsuit trial kicks off

MIDWEEK REPORTER

MASVINGO CITY-The US$100 000 civil trial of former Masvingo Provincial Hospital Medical Director, Dr Julius Chirengwa kicks off on Monday this week at the High Court, The Midweek Watch has learnt.

Dr Chirengwa, who is an obstetrician and gynecologist is being sued for a whopping US$100 000 for professional negligence by Dr Wonderful Mutangiri who is a also a gynecologist and runs Royal Women’s Clinic in the ancient city.

The High Court of Zimbabwe Deputy Registrar, Thabiso Phiri confirmed the lawsuit HCMSC489/23, but declined to give more details as she said the matter is before the court.

“Kindly be advised that the matter is currently pending before the court therefore we are unable to furnish you with details of the matter,” said Phiri in her response to the letter from The Midweek Watch.

Dr Chirengwa is opposing the lawsuit.

According to the summons at the High Court in our possession, Dr Mutangiri says he engaged Dr Chirengwa in May 2020 to take care of his pregnant wife who was expecting twins.

He argues that Dr Chirengwa was not available when the wife delivered on October 3, 2020 at around 3am through emergency operation.

“The defendant provided his services negligently in one or more of the following respects; he failed to examine the child to ascertain the child’s health condition; he failed to notice that the child had developed neonatal jaundice and take the appropriate action to manage the condition and as a result the plaintiff’s child suffered and might suffer the following injuries:

“The child developed hyperbilirubinemia, bilirubin encephalopathy, kinecterus and subsequent cerebral palsy of the dysonic type. The condition is a permanent disability specifically resulting from hyperbilirunemia occurring as a result of untreated jaundice,” reads part of the lawsuit.

(Hyperbilirubinemia is a condition in which there is a build up of bilirubin ( Bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin is a yellowish pigment that is made during the breakdown of red blood cells. Bilirubin passes through the liver and is eventually excreted out of the body. Higher than usual levels of bilirubin may indicate different types of liver or bile duct problems) is a yellowish pigment that is made during the breakdown of red blood cells. Bilirubin passes through the liver and is eventually excreted out of the body. Higher than usual levels of bilirubin may indicate different types of liver or bile duct problems.) in the blood, causing yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin, called jaundice. Low levels of bilirubin in the newborn is common and does not cause any trouble and will resolve on its own in the first week of life).

The US$100 000 is broken down as follows: US$1000 being for medical expenses incurred up to the time of issuing summons commencing action, US$6 000 for assistive devices already purchased as at the time of issuing summons and US$15 000 for future expenses to be to the child’s caregivers.

The other US$10 000 being for pain, suffering and trauma, US$28 000 for future medical aid and rehabilitation, US$25 000 for assistive devices to be bought in the future and US$15 000 for future special education costs.

The Medical and Dental Practitioners Council said they have no comment on the matter, without elaborating.

“Please be advised that the Council has no comment to make,” said Dr. Colin Benyure the

acting MDPCZ registrar told The Midweek Watch.

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