PUTRAJAYA: A nine-year-old girl won RM2.78mil in damages in a suit over medical negligence which caused her to suffer brain damage during childbirth.
Nurul Husna Muhammad Hafiz, who is now wheelchair-bound, filed the suit through her parents, Muhammad Hafiz Abd Wasit and Nor Azalina Mohd Songib, against the Government and 29 others.
High Court Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera awarded RM1,937,810 for future general damages, RM350,000 in general damages for her pain and suffering, RM345,031 in special damages, RM151,330 in pre-trial damages and RM213,864 in costs.
The award would be paid to her parents as trustees and the money be deposited into the account of Muhammad Hafiz, who was seated in public gallery.
JC Vazeer Alam reminded Muhammad Hafiz to use the money to care for the girl.
He said the girl's mother, Dr Nor Azalina, would not be able to claim for medical expenses from the government due to her being a government servant.
Speaking to reporters, the parents' lawyer, Manmohan Singh Dhillon, said the defendants had admitted to the liability.
Muhammad Hafiz, a bank officer, said he was happy with the award after the pain suffered by his daughter.
In their suit, the parents said that Nurul Husna "will for the rest of her life be defendent on others for all of her activities of daily living."
They said that their daughter will require multi-disciplinary medical and surgical consultation treatment and management.
Among others, they said their daughter will need an intensive rehabilitation programme, disabled-friendly motor vehicles and a disabled-friendly home as well as special food to improve the quality of her life.
Dr Nor Azalina said she delivered Nurul Husna at Selayang Hospital on July 22, 2005.
The parents claimed that Nurul Husna suffered severe and irreversible brain damage as a result of the negligence of the doctors.
In the suit filed on Dec 27, 2012, Dr Nor Azalina said the defendants failed to advise her on her delivery options and risks of undergoing vaginal delivery in view of her previous history of undergoing emergency lower segment Caesarean section.
She said the defendants failed to request for a paediatric doctor to
be present during the delivery following detection of foetal distress.
Apart from the Government, 21 doctors and eight medical staff, including nurses, involved in treating and managing the child at the hospital were named as defendants.
The defendants claimed that all actions and decisions made regarding the girl's treatment was according to accepted medical practices and standard operating procedure.