Lawmaker Sues JFK over Daughter’s Death

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Exactly ten months after Montserrado County District#13 Representative Edward Forh’s daughter Nakita died on the bare floor in the compound of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital, as nurses there declined to attend to her, a lawyer representing the family has filed a US$25m lawsuit for damages and wrongful death against several staff of the hospital.
The lawsuit was filed before the Civil Law Court last Friday.
Nakita, who suffered from asthma, died on September 27, 2014, at the hospital compound while gasping for air during the heat of the Ebola crisis in the country.
Those accused of being responsible for Nakita’s death include: Dr. Wvannie-Mae Scott-McDonald, JFK General Administrator; Munah Tarpeh, Deputy for Administration; Tannie Sneh Nursing Supervisor; Mary Howard Nyaquie, Administrator; Dr. Korto Dorbor; Dr. Billy C. Johnson, Chief Medical Officer; Dr. David Okiror, Staff Physician; Professor Joseph Njoh, Department Chairman on Internal Medicine; and the administrator of the Ministry of Health.
The lawsuit against the healthcare practitioners according to Attorney Arthur Johnson, lead counsel for the Forh family, is based on what he described as “very devastating and frustrating” experience, which he claimed caused the family consequential damages and unforgettable state of trauma in which their daughter died.
Atty. Johnson further argued that Nakita died in the arms of her father on the grounds of the hospital, while struggling and crying, calling the hospital staff, who refused to allow Nakita access to the nebulizer, a breathing instrument at the hospital.
“Since the defendants refused to personally use the nebulizer to allow our daughter to breathe through said instrument, and they refused to help and exercise their duty of care [by] taking to the lawmaker’s daughter, who died as a result of their refusal to care for the deceased,” he stated in the suit; therefore, Atty Johnson pleaded with the court to rule against the defendants as liable and award not less than US$10 million in general damages; US$5m in punitive damages; another US$5 in compensatory damages, and US$5m in consequential damages.
Immediately, after the lawsuit was filed, Rep. Forh told journalists that he was now satisfied, because he was going to get justice.
Explaining his ordeal, Rep. Forh said, it was on Friday, September 26, 2014, when he took his daughter, based on an advice of a doctor to the JFK Hospital for asthma nebulizer to stabilize her breathing after she had suffered severe asthmatic attack.
Upon their arrival at the hospital, he alleged, medical practitioners refused to treat her, because, according to him, they were restricted by their bosses from treating any case they deemed severe unless the patient could produce an Ebola clearance from any of the Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs.)
“I pleaded with them to stabilize her breathing, but they refused to do so. I later took her home, managed with her throughout that night and I returned with her the following day,” the District#13 lawmaker tearfully said.
He added that on Saturday, the next day, “my queen died in the hospital compound.”
He said after hearing about his unfortunate incident, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf went to the hospital to sympathize with him.
“I told the President that I was going to hold the hospital responsible for the wrongful death of my daughter,” he stated.
He went on to say that President Sirleaf later ordered an immediate investigation into the matter.
“I was assured by all concerned, including the JFK Management, that the investigation would be thorough in bringing out all the facts and circumstances surrounding the doctors’ refusal to admit Nakita, and the resultant death of my daughter,” he added.
Instead of the receiving President Sirleaf’s report, Rep. Forh said he received from the then Minister of Health, Dr. Walter Gwenigale, a document under the signature of the General Administrator of the hospital containing his daughter’s medical report.
“Upon reviewing the document, I was surprised to see that what the hospital described as the medical report was nothing more than a collection of “self-serving statements,” he stated.

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