KUALA LUMPUR: A three-year-old girl was awarded more than RM5.6 million by the High Court in a medical negligence lawsuit brought against doctors at a public hospital.
The girl, born on May 12, 2020 via a Caesarean section, suffered spinal cord injuries following complications from the surgery, which left her paralysed from the neck down.
The hospital conducted an internal inquiry into the matter shortly after the birth.
The inquiry found that the medical officer on duty had no experience to perform the surgery and that it was done without supervision by an obstetrician and gynaecologist.
The girl, through her father, filed a suit against the government and the doctors involved, claiming they were negligent and failed to act in her best interest.
The government admitted liability, and the court was asked to assess the quantum of damages payable.
In his ruling, Justice Akhtar Tahir said that “no amount of money can lessen the (girl’s) pain and suffering”.
“The court is of the view that the amount of damages awarded must compensate as best as possible for the additional expenses which will be incurred by the caregivers in caring for the plaintiff with the disabilities suffered,” he added.
The judge also said that he had considered evidence from doctors, who testified that the toddler was likely to live up to the age of 23 based on her condition.
“In the era of technology advancement, chances of a longer life expectancy is to be expected,” Akhtar said.
The court ruled the girl is entitled to be sufficiently compensated for the rest of her life.