x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

UAE hospital 'dismissed killed worker's injury for a skin allergy', court hears

A labourer died a week after a five-gallon water bottle fell on his head - because doctors mistakenly treated him for a skin allergy, a court hears.

AJMAN // A labourer died a week after a five-gallon water bottle fell on his head - because doctors mistakenly treated him for a skin allergy, a court heard this week.

The bottle fell after a forklift truck driver NK, 34, from India, knocked the electricity pole on which it was tied at a construction site in Al Hilew. It landed on the head of Mohammed Nawwaz, fracturing his vertebrae. The injury occurred on December 26 last year, but it was not until December 30 that Mr Nawwaz died, when the resultant swelling of his spinal cord caused his heart and lungs to fail.

The Ajman Misdemeanours Court found the forklift driver guilty of unintentionally causing the death, ordering him to pay Dh200,000 in blood money and fining him Dh1,100. However, his lawyer Yousif Al Bahar appealed the verdict, telling the emirate's Appeals Court that blame for the death lay with the hospital where Mr Nawwaz was treated.

"Mohammed Nawwaz was referred to a hospital in Fujairah your honour but he was dismissed after doctors gave him a medicine for skin allergy," said Mr Al Bahar.

He accused the doctors of failing to perform their duties appropriately and incorrectly diagnosing the man.

The lawyer requested the court to summon the doctor who treated Mr Nawwaz.

During prosecution investigations, the forklift driver said that the rope tying the water bottle to the electricity pole was loose.

"I was lifting some tools for the workers and mistakenly hit the pole," he said, adding that he was surprised to hear of Mr Nawwaz's death a few days later.

A date for the next hearing is yet to be determined.

salamir@thenational.ae