A hearing to set the basis for the Civil Law Court to determine whether or not to look into the merits and demerits of a US$10million lawsuit filed against the government of Liberia by Montserrado County Representative Edward Forh for the death of his daughter could not take place last Wednesday due to the absence of state lawyers in the courtroom.
Justifying state lawyers’ absence on Wednesday, Judge Yussif Kaba, who is presiding over the case, said that he received a letter from the Full Bench of the Supreme Court instructing him to postpone the matter.
Judge Kaba said the High Court’s decision was based on a letter from state lawyers informing it that they could not appear in court on Wednesday due to a weeklong prosecution training exercise in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County.
Judge Kaba did not say when he would continue with the matter.
Rep. Forh’s daughter, Nakita Forh, died on September 27, 2014, in the compound of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital (JFK) where she was taken after she allegedly suffered an asthma attack.
Her death also coincided with the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease, which was responsible for the closing of several medical facilities in the country, including the JFK Hospital.
She was taken to JFK with the hope that doctors at the hospital could help stabilize her breathing by means of an asthma nebulizer. This, however, did not happen, leading to Nakita’s death in the hospital’s compound. Rep. Forh is seeking wrongful death against the JFK management in the amount of US$10 million.
Rep. Forh’s lawyer quoted him as saying: “The late Nakita Forh suffered an asthma attack on September 26, 2014. Based upon a doctor’s advice, she was rushed to the JFK Hospital to stabilize her breathing via an asthma nebulizer.”
Rep. Forh claimed that upon arrival at the medical center, doctors and nurses refused to treat his daughter due to the hospital’s policy demanding clearance from an Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) for anyone whose condition seemed severe.
“I pleaded with them to stabilize her breathing but to no avail. I later took her home, managed her overnight and returned the next day, Saturday, September 27, 2014, to the hospital, but they still refused to see her…later she died in the hospital compound,” Rep. Forh said.
Rep. Forh’s lawyer said the action of the defendants caused his client “psychological pain, mental anguish, emotional distress, frustration, while the deceased lost her future ambitions and other consequential injuries and damages.”