11-year-old boy slams N100m suit on Abuja hospital over alleged damaged testis

Court of law

A boy Nelson George has sued Limi Children’s Hospital Limited in Abuja before the FCT High Court, Kubwa, demanding damages of N100 million for alleged misdiagnosis and mistreatment leading to the damage of one of his testes.

The 11-year-old filed the suit through his father Bankole George.

In the suit marked FCT/HC/CV/7356/2023 dated and filed on August 28, 2023, by Emmanuel Ekpenyong, his lawyer, Nelson also prayed the court to grant an order directing the hospital to pay the sum of N5 million to him as cost of filing the suit.

He also asked the court for an order directing the hospital to issue a letter of apology to him for the alleged misconduct.

The second to fourth defendants in that order are the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Investigation Panel and the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

The claimant equally urged the court to declare that the second to fourth defendants ought to be more proactive in ensuring that they perform their duties under their mandate as provided in the respective legislations establishing them to protect and promote his interests and well-being, including that of members of the Nigerian public.

In his joint statement of claim, Nelson said he was presently “in Junior Secondary School 3 and lives under the parentship of Bankole George who is his next friend and legal guardian.”

“Bankole George (‘Bankole’) is the biological father of the claimant.

“He is a Grade Level 18, Step 11 Director of Dangote Cement Plc. and a subscriber of the Platinum package of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS AXA MANSARD),” the statement said.

It said that Nelson was one of the beneficiaries of Bankole’s Health Insurance Scheme in Abuja.

According to the statement, on January 30, 2023, Bankole discovered that the claimant (Nelson) was having serious abdominal pains and his penis and scrotum were swollen.

“Bankole promptly rushed the claimant to the 1st defendant’s hospital which is one of the hospitals listed in Bankole’s package of the NHIS for himself and his family members to which the claimant is one.

“After preliminary checks, the claimant was admitted at the 1st defendant’s hospital for treatment,” it said.

It said that the hospital then conducted laboratory tests on Nelson, including a scan of his genitals.

“In the scan report, the sonologist concluded that the claimant suffered from Epididymo-orchitis/Torsion.

“The claimant was admitted at the 1st defendant’s hospital for 4 (four) days to undergo treatment for acute epididymal-orchitis only without addressing the Torsion in the scan report.

“He was discharged from the 1st defendant’s hospital in the evening of 2nd February 2023,” it said.

“Painfully, on the evening of 9th February 2023, at about 11 pm, the claimant complained of discomfort in his genitals and the same abdominal pains.

“Bankole took the claimant back to the 1st defendant’s hospital on the morning of Friday, 10th February 2023.

“The claimant was again admitted and this time treated for malaria, sepsis and peptic ulcer disease with series of tests conducted once more.

“The abdominal pains subsided and the claimant was discharged the second time in the evening of 11th February, 2023,” it said.

Medical doctor Vwaere Diaso dies in Lagos Island hospital elevator crash

Lagos hospital’s house officers protest Dr Vwaere Diaso’s death in elevator crash

It further said that on February 13, Nelson again complained of excruciating abdominal pains and his genitals were swollen, and Bankole was advised to take the claimant to another hospital for proper diagnosis and treatment.

“The claimant was taken to Nisa Premier Hospital Abuja (the Nisa Premier),” it said.

After a preliminary examination and a scan that showed that Nelson had Testicular Torsion (‘TT’), a urologist and his team at Nisa Premier promptly carried out surgery on his scrotum.

The statement alleged that they later discovered that Limi Children’s Hospital Limited’s delay in discovering and promptly carrying out surgery on the claimant had led to complete damage to one of his testes.

It said Limi Hospital, however, denied any wrongdoing and maintained that their action was in line with standard medical protocol.

Limi Hospital’s lawyer, on April 6, also wrote to Nelson’s lawyer, Ekpenyong, and absolved the hospital of any wrongdoing or liability.

It said Nelson’s lawyer, therefore, petitioned the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and that when Nelson’s affidavit got to the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Investigation Panel, the panel said it had no jurisdiction on the subject matter.

It said Ekpenyong thereafter petitioned the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission but the commission did not act on the complaint.

Nelson, therefore, averred that Limi Hospital owed him a duty as a patient to properly diagnose his medical condition to prevent a deterioration of his condition to the extent of losing one of his testes.

The defendants were yet to respond to the originating processes served on them at the time of this report.

Justice Yusuf fixed December 20 for the hearing of the suit.