Peter Mule Muthungu (suing as administrator and Personal representative of thereafter Estate of Jane Mueningui) v. Kenyatta National Hospital

Civil Suit 364 of 2007
Download Judgment: English

As the administrator of the deceased’s estate, the plaintiff sought the medical records of the deceased from the defendant hospital. The plaintiff had separately filed a medical negligence suit against the defendant. The plaintiff and his counsel determined that the hospital records, which related to the deceased’s treatment before death, were necessary for the negligence suit, and filed a claim to access the documents. The plaintiff alleged that the documents showed the events that were the basis of the medical negligence claim and alleged that the documents were the property of the deceased, and thus the plaintiff’s property as administrator of the estate.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff could not waive the deceased’s right of confidentiality and that the documents already supplied to the plaintiff were sufficient to support his negligence claim.

The Court held that the defendant hospital was required to produce the hospital records regarding the treatment and management of the deceased during the time she spent in the hospital. The Court reasoned that these documents contained necessary information relating to the plaintiff’s medical negligence claim. Additionally, the Court held that the documents were the property of the plaintiff as the administrator of the deceased’s estate.

“I have seen some of the medical documents that were produced by the defendant in this case however the applicant feels that for him to advance his case he needs that document held by the defendant indeed medical documents provide vital evidence of what went wrong. It is therefore imperative of the defendant to disclose to the plaintiff any document that relates to the plaintiffs claim.” Page 3.

“Article 35 1(b) of the Constitution states that ‘Every citizen has the right of access to information held by another person and required for the exercise or protection of any right or fundamental freedom’.” Page 3.