Girl awarded $1.08m in civil suit

Girl awarded $1.08m in civil suit

KUALA LUMPUR - Nurul Husna Muhammad Hafiz is nine, but she will never get to enjoy life doing things that girls her age do.

She suffers from brain damage from medical negligence and will forever be dependent on others to care for her.

Yesterday, Nurul Husna, who is wheelchair bound, was awarded RM2.78 million (S$1.08 million) in damages following a suit filed by her father and mother regarding her birth at a hospital.

Her bank officer father Muham­mad Hafiz Abd Wasit and her mother Dr Nor Azalina Mohd Songib filed the suit on her behalf against the Government and 29 others.

Muhammad Hafiz said he was relieved that the fight was over and said the family could now concentrate on ensuring that Nurul Husna would receive the best treatment and rehabilitation for her condition.

"This award will ensure that my daughter's future and well-being will be well taken care of," he said.

In his ruling, High Court Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera awarded RM1,937,810 for the girl's future general damages, RM350,000 in general damages for her pain and suffering, RM345,031 in special damages and RM151,330 in pre-trial damages.

JC Vazeer Alam also ordered the defendants to pay RM213,864 in costs.

He reminded Muhammad Hafiz that being his daughter's trustee, he must make sure that the award was used for the care of Nurul Husna.

JC Vazeer Alam said that Dr Nor Azalina could claim for medical expenses from the Government as she is a civil servant.

In the lawsuit, the parents said Nurul Husna would require multi-disciplinary medical and surgical consultation and treatment for the rest of her life.

She will also need intensive rehabilitation, disabled-friendly motor vehicles and a disabled-friendly home as well as special food to improve the quality of her life.

Dr Nor Azalina gave birth to Nurul Husna at Selayang Hospital on July 22, 2005.

She said the defendants had failed to advise her on her delivery options and risks of undergoing a vaginal delivery in view of her previous history of having undergone an emergency lower segment Caesarean section.

She said the defendants had also failed to request for a paediatric doctor to be present during the delivery following detection of foetal distress.

In the statement of defence filed on Feb 25, the defendants said that all the actions and decisions made regarding the girl's treatment was according to the accepted medical practice and adhere to the Standard Operating Procedure.

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