Alleged Negligence: Student Slams N2.1bn Suit against Abuja School

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Alex Enumah

A student of Baptist High School Abuja Limited has dragged the school to court over alleged negligence which led to bodily injury he suffered while in care of the school.
The student of Junior Secondary School (JSS3) in the suit filed on his behalf by his guardian, one Mr. Davies Dada, is specifically claiming the total sum of N2 .1 billion from the school as compensation for cost of medical treatment, cost of instituting the legal action, general as well as exemplary / punitive damages.

According to the claimant, in the suit marked CV/2437/2021, the school failed in its duty as “loco parentis” by not noticing or providing necessary care and attention to claimant after he fell and could no longer walk while participating in the school’s Physical and Health Education Practical Examination for the Basic Education Certificate Examination 2020/2021 academic session.

The fall and the alleged neglect of the school to either informed the claimant’s parents or provide urgent medical attention, claimant said resulted in him suffering what doctors called “Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis (SUFE)” on his right leg and “Prophylactic Pinning-in-situ” on the left.

In the suit filed by claimant’s lawyer, Arinze Obetta, problem started on July 5, 2021, when the claimant was asked to participate in a 100 meters race, despite a reported health condition.
In a Witness Statement on Oath, deponent and mother of claimant, Mrs. Sandra Davies alleged that but for the defendant’s negligence, her son would not have participated in the said Physical and Health Education Practical Examination, which resulted to physical and psychological injury, suffering, pain and monetary expenses.

The deponent claimed she had earlier informed some members of staff of the school of claimant’s health condition after they noticed he was limping during the second term holidays of 2020/2021 session.

According to her, they had taken the lad to a hospital in the Wuse Area of Abuja, where doctors after treatment advised that claimant should not be allowed to stress his right leg.
She added that the information was not only passed to claimant’s House Master but the drugs to be administered on claimant were handed over to the Matron (head nurse of the school) for proper administration.

She however lamented that all these were ignored by the school while senior students were also allowed to punish claimant by asking him to do “frog jump” despite his health condition.

The deponent in addition accused the school of not showing concern about the plight of claimant even when they new claimant was taken straight from the school to the hospital where he was later operated on his two legs, adding that they only called after a friend to claimant’s father who introduced them to the school called ” to condemn the negligent manner in which the defendant school was handling claimant’s case”.

Deponent while noting that claimant has sustained injury from the fall due to pain, emotional and psychological torture, future loss of earning capacity, as a result of defendant’s negligence, stated that the claimant also is at the verge of being permanently disabled should anything happens to his cartilage bone; a condition that is said to be beyond what medical science can handle.

Claimant is therefore demanding the sum of N1. 7 million being cost of medical treatment, another N5 million as cost of instituting the legal action.

Claimant is further demanding another sum of N1 billion as general damages for the physical and psychological injury, suffering, future losses and expenses, future loss of earning capacity, and pain of the claimant owing to the negligence of the defendant and N500 million as exemplary/punitive damages.

nwhile, trial judge, Justice Babangida Hassan of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has fixed March 9, 2022 for hearing.