Court to rule on sum of damages to former athlete

Court to rule on sum of damages to former athlete

GEORGE TOWN: A High Court here has fixed May 29 to deliver its decision on the quantum of damages to be awarded to a former national junior athlete who became paralysed following a failed spinal surgery 10 years ago.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Azmi Ariffin said he required time to thoroughly go through the issues in assessing the damages for Norazleen Mohammed Mustaffa, now 26, in her medical negligence suit against orthopaedic specialist Dr Omar Md Isa, who performed her surgery, and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC).

He fixed the date in chambers yesterday in the presence of Narazleen's counsel Dr N. Ahilan and Dr Omar's and UMMC's counsel N. Shamini.

Norazleen had said in her statement of claim filed in 2008 that she had congenital scoliosis (curved spine) and underwent corrective surgery on Aug 30, 2005, when she was 16.

She claimed that her spinal cord was injured with a medical instrument used negligently by Dr Omar, and she underwent a second surgery without the knowledge or consent of her family the same day.

Norazleen said she became a paraplegic and suffered from pain, trauma, urinary and bowel incontinence, and difficulty in ordinary movements which had a permanent effect on her and affected her prospects of a good job and marriage.

On Nov 9, 2012, a High Court here dismissed her suit with costs, but the Court of Appeal allowed her appeal on July 21 last year, and found Dr Omar to be professionally negligent and UMMC vicariously liable.

The Court of Appeal ordered the case to be sent back to Penang for assessment of damages.

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