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Man awarded RM1.2m for losing eye during surgery

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has awarded RM1.2 million in damages to a company legal manager who lost his right eye during a surgery 11 years ago.

Judicial commissioner Zura Yahya also awarded Megat Noor Ishak Megat Ibrahim costs and interest. Of the amount, RM1 million was for aggravated damages.

High Court deputy registrar Norazlin Othman read the oral grounds prepared by Zura on Sept 1.

Zura, who has since resigned, had earlier heard arguments from counsel. A total of 10 witnesses, including medical experts, took the stand.

Megat Noor filed the suit in 2000 and named Dr. Hari Krishnan and Dr Mohamed Namazie as first and second defendants respectively. The Tun Husssein Onn National Eye Hospital was made the third defendant.

Zura said she was of the opinion that the blindness in Megat Noor’s eye was because of bleeding (suprachoroidal haemorrhage) as a result of bucking (sudden movement).

"Therefore, the first and second defendants breached their duty of care when they failed to warn the plaintiff (Megat Noor) of the risk of bucking, "she said.

Zura said she also found the hospital vicariously liable as eye surgeon Dr Hari and anaesthetist Dr Mohamed were its servants.

Megat Noor, 57, who is the head of UMW Corporation Sdn Bhd legal department, filed the suit after he lost his eye in the course of the operation carried out by Dr. Hari at the hospital a year earlier. He had surgery as a result of retinal tear in the right eye.

Megat Noor, who was represented by Claudia Cheah and Rosey Lim, said he was delighted with the outcome after waiting 11 years.

"Although the award will never restore my vision, I feel relieved that justice has finally been served."

He said the amount of aggravated damages awarded was unprecedented, giving an indication that negligence by professionals should not be tolerated.

"Since the public pays so much for medical service, it is time we raised expectations of the treatment we receive."

This article was published in the New Straits Times on 9th September 2010.


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