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Labasa Woman To Appeal Her Awarded $12,000

Labasa Woman To Appeal Her Awarded $12,000
Bale Tikosaya (left) with her mother Losena Vakaloloma in Labasa on April 19. Photo:SHRATIKA NAIDU
April 20
11:00 2017


A Labasa woman plans to appeal on compensation for medical negligence.

Now 21-years-old, Bale Tikosaya was awarded $12,000 compensation for general damages by the High Court in Labasa.

She claimed that her life had been permanently damaged from medical negligence.

“I am not happy with the amount of compensation given to me because due to medical negligence my life has been damaged,” she said.

Ms Tikosaya was 19 when she was admitted at the Labasa Hospital on April 29, 2015 from food poisoning.

The judgment was handed down by Justice David Alfred on April 5. She was awarded $12,000 compensation for general damages and $1360 for special damages with interest and $2000 for costs.

Ms Tikosaya sued the Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services and the Attorney-General for medical negligence for a total of $60,000.

Ms Tikosaya was represented by lawyers Amrit Sen and Kelepi Ratule.

“I was only 19-years-old when the doctors at Labasa Hospital operated on me,” Ms Tikosaya said.

“Due to the surgery I could not work at Flour Mills of Fiji. I had to resign,” she said.

“Now I am 21-years-old and have been staying at home.”

The second youngest of nine siblings alleged that she suffered from pain, joint and back pain with limited mobility.

In his ruling Justice Alfred said: “From the evidence, the Court is satisfied the plaintiff has proved, on a balance of probabilities, that the defendants (Ministry of Health) woefully failed to provide that reasonable standard of care that she was entitled to receive in the hospital.

“In the face of all the evidence that she was not pregnant, the doctors for some reasons, that the Court is not able at the end of the day to fathom, carried out an operation that was wholly unnecessary for a female complaining of food poisoning.

“The doctors cannot exculpate (pardon) themselves by inculpating (blaming) the technician who carried out the USS (ultra sound scan).

“And even if they could, this does not get the defendants off the hook because that negligent technician is still a servant and agent of the defendants.

“The evidence speaks for itself and there is no need for the Court to repeat the salient evidence.”

In his judgement Justice Alfred said as a custodian of public interest, the court had to be vigilant in awarding the damages for the plaintiff (Ms Tikosaya).

He said the court had to be “careful in its award of damages, not showing partiality to one side nor favour to the other.

“In my opinion, the proper and adequate award for the pain and suffering and incision the Plaintiff has suffered and for being subjected to a wholly unnecessary operation, to which she never consented, would be the sum of $12,000.” Edited by Rusiate Mataika


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