Crime & Courts

Woman awarded RM3.8 million by court in medical negligence suit

KUALA LUMPUR: The government was ordered to pay RM3.8 million in compensation by the High Court, after losing in a medical negligence lawsuit today.

The High Court granted the quantum to former saleswoman Shuhazani Shoib after a government hospital delayed treatment for her high blood pressure during a pregnancy seven years ago.

As a result, Shuhazani's baby passed away in her womb at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.

At 34 years old, Shuhazani developed complete HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count) syndrome, accompanied by acute kidney failure and brain bleeding.

Shuhazani, who initiated the lawsuit in 2020 with her husband, Irwan Idris, now faces mobility challenges and cognitive impairment, for which she needs life-long assistance.

In 2021, Putrajaya acknowledged responsibility for neglecting to exercise reasonable care during the plaintiff's pregnancy.

Justice Ahmad Shahrir Salleh, in a ruling last year, mandated compensation totaling RM3.8 million, including RM300,000 in aggravated damages. Additionally, the government was directed to cover another RM278,000 in costs for Shuhazani.

In his recent 15-page judgement, Shahrir emphasised that Shuhazani would require ongoing support from others for the remainder of her life.

Shuhazani married Irwan at the age of 33 in 2015 and became pregnant the following year.

During the 33rd week of her pregnancy, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a condition characterised by high blood pressure during pregnancy.

However, her condition was not adequately managed despite the correct diagnosis, leading to the deterioration of her health.

The government has lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal regarding the compensation amount.

Shuhazani was represented by lawyers Karthi Kanthabalan and Abdul Azeem Seeni Muthu Ambalam, while senior federal counsel Nik Mohd Noor Nik Kar and federal counsel Adiba Iman Hassan appeared on behalf of the government.

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