29 Jan 2009

8 year-old gets record award for damages from PNG court

3:42 pm on 29 January 2009

In a landmark case, Papua New Guinea's National Court in Madang has awarded an eight-year-old girl 50 thousand US dollars in damages for the negligence of her treatment by an aid post worker.

The Post Courier newspaper reports the plaintiff in the case, Zita Seupain, was three months old when she was taken by her parents to the Zizi aid post for treatment of skin lesions.

The aid post orderly injected her with a drug, benzathine penicillin, which resulted in severe neurovascular damage including gangrene, which eventually meant her left leg had to be amputated below the knee.

The presiding judge, Justice David Cannings, said an amputated leg must be regarded as the most serious form of leg injury, making it necessary to award significantly more than previous cases.