Sunday 21 October 2018

Family of tragic Malak embroiled in bitter row over €35,000 payout

Malak and Alan Thawley
Malak and Alan Thawley

Tim Healy

The father and mother of Malak Kuzbary Thawley, who died during surgery for an ectopic pregnancy, are to get €2,000 following a bitter row about how a €35,000 payout for family grief should be shared.

Her husband Alan Thawley will receive the remaining €33,000.

Ms Kuzbary Thawley (34) died on May 8, 2016, during surgery at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin.

Mr Thawley and the hospital settled his action for her wrongful death on January 16.

But an issue later arose over the share out of the "solatium" -damages for grief and suffering.

Ms Kuzbary Thawley had, apart from her husband, seven other dependants: her father Sam, mother Fadia Jabri, stepmother Jennifer Lynn Kuzbary, stepfather Abdalrazzak Al Olabi, grandmother Rouwaida Hakim Kuzbary, half-sister Miriam Kuzbary and a 14-year-old half-brother. All live in the US.

Following initial confusion about whether all the dependants had waived their right to a share of the solatium, the matter was relisted for hearing.

As it turned out, only the grandmother and half sister wanted their share to go to Malak's husband.

And Mr Kuzbary said, following consultation with Malak's mother, her step-mother and step-father, the four of them agreed their shares should go to the 14-year-old half brother.

In a series of emails to Mr Thawley's solicitor Caoimhe Haughey, Mr Kuzbary said: "Our expressions were turned down and objected to by her husband and we do not have any desire to hear from him again or see him any more."

He said her husband "did not raise her" or "immigrate her to the US", he "did not tend to her schooling" and "did not change her diapers, etc".

Mr Kuzbary added: "After all, her husband is responsible for her pregnancy that went south, and required appropriate medical attention and not a late night emergency clinic visit to an understaffed, so-called maternity hospital."

In another email to Ms Haughey, Mr Kuzbary said: "Your country's delinquent medical staff killed my kid. They did not have a tool to stop the bleeding they inflicted.

"They did not have blood to put in her system. They referenced her as a Syrian refugee and not a human being."

He added a day did not go by when he did not cry for the loss.

Mr Justice Anthony Barr said while there was a "strained relationship" between the statutory dependants, it appeared Malak had no sibling or familial relationship with her half-brother.

He accepted it was reasonable for a father to suffer anguish over the death of a daughter "even where he may have somewhat strained relations with her over a number of years".

He was also prepared to accept similar emotions from her mother, notwithstanding she did not appear to have meaningful engagement in her daughter's upbringing after five years of age.

He awarded €1,000 each to the parents and the remaining €33,000 to Mr Thawley.

Irish Independent

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