The Civil Law Court “A” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has secured a nine – member jury panel to begin hearing today, 21 September a complaint filed by Montserrado County Rep. Dr. Edward Forh against the Government here, demanding “not less than US$10,000,000.00″ for the alleged wrongful death of his daughter Nakita D. Forh in 2014 during the peak of the Ebola outbreak.
Rep. Forh’s daughter died during the Ebola crisis, but he has since blamed the government and its major referral hospital John F. Kennedy Medical Center for such incident over claims that they jointly acted by omission and caused the wrongful death of Nakita.
However, in the government’s response filed before the Civil Law Court, it argued that none of the defendants listed in Rep. Forh’s complaint is guilty, rather suggesting that “the only culprit for the death of little Nakita D. Forh is Hon. Forh himself, father of the deceased who refused and managed the said child at his home overnight without any medical training …”
The government argues that Rep. Forh brought back the late Nakita dead to the JFK Medical Hospital so as to insinuate that the death occurred at the hospital. The lawmaker had complained that on 26 September 2014, he was advised to take his 21-year -old daughter Nakita whom he said was a known asthmatic to the JFK Hospital while still alive “due to the acute nature and severity of the asthmatic attack” against her.
According to him, he was seeking to have the hospital stabilize his daughter’s breathing condition as a result of the asthma, and therefore allegedly took her to JFK on Friday, 26 September.
But upon arrival, Rep. Forh alleges that they were refused by personnel of the hospital, over claims that they had a policy not to treat any case deemed as severe unless the patient could produce an Ebola clearance from an Ebola Treatment Unit or ETU.
“Plaintiff says that he pleaded with the Hospital Personnel to stabilize the late Nakita D. Forh’s breathing and told the hospital personnel that his daughter was not an Ebola patient and that there was a medical history of the child which could be confirmed by the clinic on Snapper Hill, but to no avail,” Rep. Forh’s complaint says.
But the government has denied the claim, contending that the late Nakita was brought to the hospital and seen in her father’s arms lifeless, further detailing that when Rep. Forh finally laid Nakita down on the floor at the JFK Hospital and later placed her on a stretcher, she was pronounced dead by doctor who had come to attend to her.
As such, the Government of Liberia argues that it cannot be held liable for punitive damages as demanded by Rep. Forh, while also saying the claim for damages were in fact excessive, lacked any foundation and not supported by evidence.
The case is expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. today, Wednesday 21 September.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne