A Johannesburg woman who broke her leg after falling over a chain in the parking area at the Netcare Milpark Hospital has lost her damages claim against the healthcare institution.
Acting Judge Harshilabhen Koovertjie ruled in the North Gauteng High Court that it would not be in the interest of justice to allow the damages claim by Madelein Nearhou against the hospital to continue.
The plaintiff fractured her leg in an incident in September 2011 when she fell over a chain in the parking area of the trauma doctor’s unit near the hospital’s cafeteria.
She had just bought coffee at the cafeteria that evening after her husband, a paramedic, was taken to the emergency ward at the hospital.
Nearhou had initially claimed in court papers that the chain was put there in the five minutes while she was inside the cafeteria.
But she later admitted the chain separating the doctors’ parking area from the public area in front of the trauma unit was a permanent fixture with yellow notice boards hanging from it.
Judge Koovertjie ruled that Nearhou had not established a prima facie case of negligence against the hospital.
She said it was clear the chains were welded to the posts and had always been between the parking bays where Nearhou fell.
Judge Koovertjie then ordered that Nearhou pay the hospital’s legal costs.