Straits Times Jun 20, 12 A2
IVF mix-up: mum seeks damages
In a medical negligence suit, it is not only the practising doctor or vet that is liable for damages as the following case shows:
1. Thomson Fertility Centre (TFC) waived all hospital and docotrs' charges
2. Thomson Medical was fined the maximum of $20,000 for failing to ensure suitable practices were followed
3. The woman who alleged negligence had a baby with a stranger's semen insgead of her husband's sued Thomson Medical, Thomson Fertility Clinic and 2 embryologists for special damages of $750,000
4. She wants the court to assess the amount of general damages.
5. Legal fees must be paid by the company and this could amount to $100,000 in protracted trials.
As TFC had admitted clinical error, the court will decide a "fair outcome" for all parties as regards the quantum of compensation
In conclusion, the licensee or key appointment holder and the Practice can be sued for damages, not just employee doctors or vets who performed the procedure. Therefore, strict monitoring and management of the employee or associates vets are necessary to prevent possible litigation and that includes "trust and audit" procedures to be done by the licensee regularly.