Friday, 19 July

Achimota school found liable for negligence in student's death, fined 600k

Education
Achimota School

Achimota School has been held liable for negligence in the death of 15-year-old student Kervin Kofi Moses, who passed away in December 2016.

The court's ruling, nearly eight years after the incident, holds the school, its housemaster, and the Attorney General responsible for failing to provide adequate medical care.

According to court documents, Kervin fell ill on November 28, 2016, and visited the student clinic complaining of malaria. Despite his symptoms, he was given ibuprofen and told it was not malaria.

 Unconvinced by the diagnosis, Kervin called his mother to inform her of his condition.

Evidence presented during the trial revealed that the housemaster of Fraser House, where Kervin was accommodated, ignored calls from Kervin's mother to take her son to the hospital.

During cross-examination, Kervin's mother testified, “I had so much concern for Kervin, so I quickly placed a call to the 1st defendant (the housemaster) and requested permission to take Kervin to the hospital myself but the 1st defendant declined.”

The court determined that Achimota School had a duty of care to Kervin as he was in their custody.

Despite the school's explanation that Kervin was asked to report back to the clinic in two days, the judge found that “it was the duty of the 1st defendant (housemaster) to make sure that Kervin go for the check-up because the 1st defendant was at the moment responsible for the health needs of the child.”

Further evidence showed that between November 28 and December 1, Kervin's mother sent multiple messages to the housemaster seeking information about her son's health and offering to take him to the hospital.

Most of these messages went unanswered, despite previous communications between the mother and the housemaster regarding money she had sent to Kervin through him.

In one message, Kervin's mother pleaded, “Please I hope I’m not breaking bounds, I just want to find out how my son is doing, please I’m begging you pick my call.”

On December 1, the housemaster finally responded with, “He is fine madam.” However, on December 2, he informed Kervin's mother that her son was sick and had been rushed to Achimota Hospital. Kervin was later transferred to the 37 Military Hospital, where he died on December 4, 2016.

The judge concluded that the school breached its duty to Kervin by not seeking prompt medical attention.

As a result, Achimota School, the housemaster, and the Attorney General have been ordered to pay GHS 400,000 in general damages and GHS200,000 in damages for negligently causing Kervin's death.

 

Source: classfmonline.com/Elikem Adiku