Obstetrician faces Dhs 1m lawsuit over botched surgery

Dubai: An obstetrician/gynaecologist is appealing against a Dubai Civil Court order to pay about Dh1 million in compensation to her former employer, a Saudi specialist hospital, after she allegedly caused a baby’s death during a botched Caesarean surgery.

The Canadian gynaecologist, who currently works at a Dubai-based hospital, carried out what Saudi health authorities described as a botched Caesarean surgery while working at a Riyadh-based hospital, leading to the death of the baby.

The hospital paid the baby’s Lebanese father about Dh1 million in emotional, financial and moral compensation plus blood money.

They are now claiming that money from the doctor.

Verdict appealed

The Saudi hospital filed a civil lawsuit with the Dubai Civil Court in which it reclaimed the compensation amount plus 9 per cent legal interest and an additional amount of Dh200,000 in financial compensation.

The Civil Court ordered the defendant to pay Dh1 million to the plaintiff. However, the gynaecologist has appealed the primary verdict before the Dubai Appeals Court which is currently looking into the case and is due to reconvene later this month.

According to the verdict sheet, the obstetrician/gynaecologist conducted the botched Caesarean surgery which caused severe brain damage to the baby before death. Saudi health authorities carried out an investigation, which blamed the defendant.

She was ordered to pay about one million Saudi riyals to the baby’s family. The authorities recommended her for re-evaluation. She contested the verdict, but records showed a Saudi Appeals Court rejected her appeal.

The Saudi hospital’s legal representative in Dubai told the court: “The obstetrician/gynaecologist requested to go on annual leave, but she couldn’t travel because a ban had been imposed on her due to the case.

“The hospital agreed to become her bail guarantor and granted her a letter which allowed her to travel and return.

“She took her passport and left but never returned, although she had promised to rejoin work within a month.

“Following the Saudi Appeals Court’s ruling and out of accountability, my client compensated the father on behalf of the obstetrician/gynaecologist.”

The hospital’s lawyer asked for a travel ban against the Canadian in the UAE and asked the authorities to confiscate her passport.

Her lawyer told Dubai Civil Court: “My client didn’t evade any liability or responsibility. She didn’t ask the hospital to be her bail guarantor. Also, she was not aware of the lawsuit’s content.

“The hospital allowed her to travel and she didn’t run away from Saudi Arabia. Besides, the claimant was deducting monthly payments from her salary to cover the charges of the insurance policy against malpractice cases.”

The hospital presented to court several documents to corroborate its lawsuit. The doctor said she didn’t ask or agree with the hospital to be her a bail guarantor.

Compensation

The Dubai Civil Court ordered the defendant to compensate the Saudi hospital based on the fact that the latter was her bail guarantor.

The court based its verdict on articles 318, 320 and 324 of the Civil Procedures Law.

The doctor asked for the primary verdict to be cancelled. The Appeals Court is set to consider its decision soon.