According to a suit filed at the Sunyani high court, the body of was deposited at the hospital’s mortuary in October 2017, but could not be traced when the family arranged for her final funeral rites.
The Presbyterian Hospital at Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong-Ahafo Region has been sued for allegedly misplacing the mortal remains of one Nana Yaa Suo.
The plaintiff, Kwasi Bonsu, son of the deceased, claims that he came down from the United Kingdom where he is resident, to lay his beloved mother to rest only to be confronted with the agony of her missing body.
The suit states that the hospital staff could not point out how the corpse could not be traced and had since not given the plaintiff any assurances that the body would be located.
Mr Kwasi Bonsu says the situation had caused him emotional and psychological trauma as people are “gossiping and speculating that the family had used the deceased for rituals or hidden the corpse or the mortuary men had sold the corpse for money rituals or the corpse had been exchanged with another corpse at the mortuary.”
He avers that the situation had brought him untold shame to the extent that he and his wife are unable to go out because of the speculations.
The suit claims that the deceased passed away on August 26, 2017 and was kept at the Sunyani Regional Hospital.
It states that a family member, Gifty Abena Ankamaa, later called the plaintiff and asked that the corpse be transferred to the Presbyterian Hospital because her husband works there and so would monitor the body, and that the charges are relatively cheaper.
Plaintiff says he obliged and on October 4, 2017, the corpse was transferred to the mission hospital, with February 2, 2018 set as the day for the funeral.
Mr. Bonsu avers that on January 23, 2018, he, together with his wife, brother and sisters in-law came to Ghana from the UK for the funeral arrangements.
He said on the night of the wake keeping, the corpse of his dead mother was never brought and so the wake keeping could not take place.
The following day – which was a Saturday – his family members, friends and sympathisers had dressed for the funeral but the head of the family came to inform them that the corpse could not be traced and so the funeral was called off.
Mr Bonsu said the matter was reported at the Sunyani regional police headquarters but was directed to report it to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and was later told that there was no criminal offence and that it was “merely a mistake.”
The plaintiff is also asking for damages for emotional distress and disgrace, damages for breach of contract, special damages and general damages as well as any other reliefs the court may deem fit.