The Government of Belize has been ordered to pay 22-year-old Jenny Bonilla two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. That’s a small price to pay for being stripped of the ability to give birth. In 2015, Bonilla visited the Southern Regional Hospital after she began experiencing abdominal pain. Doctors there then decided to transfer her to the Western Regional Hospital for a laparotomy surgery. This surgery is an exploratory surgery in which the surgeon makes a large incision through the abdominal wall to gain access to the abdominal cavity. What happened next is an irreversible damage. Bonilla’s left ovary and womb were removed leaving her unable to give birth. Soon after, Bonilla instituted legal challenge against the Government with the help of Attorney Michel Chebat. Today, Justice Sonya Young handed down her ruling.
MICHEL CHEBAT, ATTORNEY
“The Attorney General, in this case, admitted liability after receiving the expert’s testimony and today the Supreme Court gave judgment in terms of the number of damages to be awarded to the young lady for what was done to her. The court awarded $250,000 to the young lady It is a precedent-setting case in the sense that this is the first award the first judgment dealing with this type of injury that is to say the womb and the ovary. That is to say in this case the expert report was very damning of the doctor from the miss-diagnosis to the very inception to having removed the client’s womb and ovary without her consent. This was a particularly egregious case.”
According to Chebat, after the medical expert presented his report, the Government and Doctor Landero accepted liability.