Eye specialist in court over 'fatal' operation

HARARE - A Harare woman has filed a lawsuit against Solomon Guramatunhu, one of the country’s leading eye specialists, after her husband’s eye surgery turned fatal.

In the High Court chamber application, Guramatunhu, founder and chairman of Eyes for Africa is accused of having acted negligently during an eye operation, leading to the death of Horst Gross in 2009.

Gross’ executors C.A.D Venturas and his wife Joan are now suing Guramatunhu, Greenwood Park Eye Centre and a nurse anaesthetist Stanford Phiri for the death.

The woman is claiming for $17 023 incurred during the funeral and $20 000 for the support she lost following Gross’ death.

The court heard Gross visited the eye clinic in February 2009 for a routine cataract surgery.

According to court papers, Gross died as a result of improper and wrongful carrying out of the medical procedure.

It is alleged Phiri administered an overdose of pre-medication and sedative that led to Gross’ death after a heart attack.

“First Defendant (Guramatunhu) failed to provide adequate supervision and monitoring to the nurse anaesthetist,” reads part of the application.

It further states that Guramatunhu and Greenwood Park Eye Centre hired a “manifestly incompetent and unqualified anaesthetist” who was not equipped with adequate resuscitative facilities during surgery.

“Had the deceased not been killed he would have been legally obliged to continue to support Second Plaintiff (Joan) and would have been able to do so in the aggregate sum of $20 000 at least in the next five years from the date of his decease,” reads part of the application.

Joan told the court that Gross died as a result of defendants’ “negligence”.

“Defendant (Guramatunhu) made an oral undertaking that he would settle all the family’s bills relating to the negligent death of the deceased. He stated that he did not want to jeopardise his 20-year practice and admitted that he was ultimately responsible for what had happened,” said Joan.

However, Guramatunhu denies acting improperly or negligently.

“The death of the deceased was caused solely by the negligent and incompetent manner in which third defendant (Phiri) sedated the deceased,” said Guramatunhu.

He also denied that he employed Phiri during the time. - Tendai Kamhungira

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.