Doctor a no-show at negligence trial

A doctor charged with causing wrongful death by negligence following after two children died of food poisoning failed to appear in court because of 'stress'.

Food Poisoning children. Nathan DÕSouza, 5, died on Saturday, June 13, after suffering from vomiting and other symptoms common to food poisoning. His eight-year-old sister Chelsea died the next day. Supplied by the family *** Local Caption ***  FoodPoisoningKids.jpg

DUBAI // A judge has ordered the full pathology and forensic reports related to the death of Chelsea D'Souza, the French girl who died of food poisoning last year, after the doctor involved in the case failed to appear in court yesterday. Chelsea, 7, and her brother Nathan died in June last year after eating take-away food from the Lotus Garden restaurant in Al Qusais.

The two children were taken to NMC Hospital for treatment, but were discharged by their attending physician, the doctor who failed to appear in court yesterday. They died a short time later. The doctor has been charged with causing wrongful death through negligence. She failed to attend the hearing because she has been "suffering from psychological and physical stress due to the litigation process," according to a letter produced by her lawyers in the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours yesterday.

The Iraqi doctor is being tried along with a Nepalese chef and a Filipino supervisor from the Lotus Garden, and the restaurant itself is being tried as an establishment. The chef and supervisor are accused of not adhering to public health rules and incorrectly storing food. It is alleged that food prepared was contaminated with a lethal bacteria. The four accused are being prosecuted for the various charges at the same time.

All of the defendants denied the charges in court on March 1. The court will reconvene next month. amustafa@thenational.ae

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