Child wins Rs. 30 mn in landmark medical negligence judgement

  • Colombo District Court rules against Gampaha docs and nurses
  • Child suffered permanent disability following natural delivery at Gampaha District General Hospital


BY Buddhika Samaraweera


The Colombo District Court yesterday (29) ordered a team of doctors and nurses of the District General Hospital in Gampaha to pay a compensation of Rs. 30 million to a child for causing permanent disability to the latter by performing a natural delivery in 2012 even after being aware that the child’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.

The case was taken up before Colombo Additional District Judge Kalhari Liyanage, with the doctors and nurses who assisted in the delivery of the child at the Gampaha District General Hospital in 2012 being accused of causing the child to become permanently disabled by performing the natural delivery on the mother.

The judge stated that the medical staff, including the doctors and nurses, had breached their duty and allowed the child’s mother to undergo a natural delivery even though they had observed a decrease in the child’s heartbeat. She also stated that it has been determined that the compression of the child’s umbilical cord around the neck had cut off oxygen to the brain, permanently affecting its function.

After considering the evidence presented before the court, the judge declared that the case would be decided in favour of the plaintiff. Considering the child’s future, the judge ordered the team of doctors and nurses that assisted the child’s birth to pay a sum of Rs. 30 million in compensation.

The child’s mother, who had filed the case, alleged that due to the negligence of the staff who worked in the hospital during the delivery of her child, the child is now unable to speak, move her limbs, or walk, while also experiencing frequent convulsions, rendering the child unable to live a normal life.