Insurance agent who sued surgeon for $2 million had negligence claims thrown out

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File picture of Mount Elizabeth, where the surgery had taken place

By: Kheng-Liang Tan

An insurance agent who had sued her surgeon for more than $2 million for negligence and loss of income had her claims thrown out by the High Court yesterday.

Rathanamalah Shunmugam had consulted Dr Chia Kok Hoong sometime in July 2010 for pigmentation on her leg and was recommended endovenous laser therapy.

She had claimed that Dr Chia did not inform her of the risks that were associated with such lasers, otherwise she would not have consented to the surgery.

As a result, she suffered from nerve injuries which limited her mobility and her legs hurt when they came into contact with clothes. Additionally, Shunmugam claimed that the constant pain had impaled her ability to provide quality financial advice to her clients.

However, video surveillance by private investigators painted a different picture.

The 50-year-old was seen climbing stairs without any difficulty or signs of pain. In one instance, she was even seen walking up a flight of MRT stairs without bothering to look for a lift or escalator.

During the trial, Dr Chia contended that he had warned his patient of the risks involved and even produced evidence to show that Shunmugam had given her consent for the surgery.

In his judgement, Judicial Commissioner Aedit Abdullah also noted that Shunmugam had tried to claim for medical expenses which were already covered by her insurers.