Tuesday November 15, 2005
Beach-goer sues Sentosa
A beach-goer is suing Sentosa Development Corporation after he stepped on a poisonous stonefish at one of the island’s beaches and ended up with a rare permanent pain condition that cost him a career.
Adam Hamzah, 31, was afflicted with reflex sympathetic dystrophy, which affects a nerve and causes persistent pains of varying intensity every day.
The reef stonefish – reputedly one of the most venomous fish in the world – punctured the sole of Adam’s left foot in two places while he was wading in waist-high waters at Tanjong Beach in February.
The well-camouflaged greenish-brown creature has dorsal spines that discharge poison if stepped on.
Adam’s wife, Eidza Jumanis, alerted a lifeguard as he hobbled ashore and he was taken to hospital, where doctors had to cut open his sole to draw out the poison on two occasions over about a month. Adam underwent two foot operations and racked up a S$20,000 (RM44,400) medical bill.
The father of three is suing Sentosa Development for compensation for the suffering he underwent and losses he suffered. The case came up for a pre-trial hearing in the subordinate courts last week, and was postponed for further mention on Dec 5.
In an interview, Adam said Sentosa did not seek to settle out of court.
“They think I should have worn shoes, but everybody goes barefoot on the beach. Everybody knows Sentosa is the cleanest, best-kept resort and the beach is man-made and not natural. They maintain it well and that is why I trusted Sentosa and went there always,” he said.
A sign near the lifeguard’s post on the Sentosa beach warns bathers to “beware of uninvited guests,” referring to stonefish and jellyfish.
“During the monsoon season (November to January), stonefish are occasionally sighted in our tropical seawater as they migrate closer to shore,” it says.
Court documents filed show that the location of the signboard is at issue. Adam claims that the sole signboard was nowhere in the vicinity where he had parked his car. He claims that he had walked from his car directly to the beach and had not seen the sign.
Adam, who is represented by lawyer Andrew Hanam, said he decided to seek compensation because of “the suffering I had been through and the job that I lost.”
He said: “After I lost my job, I went down with a lot of debt; even my car was impounded. I used to be a volunteer citizen on patrol, but I can’t do that any more. Every night, I’m woken up by the pain. I feel there are about 10 nails in my feet. I can’t run, squat or even bend the way I used to in order to pray any more.”
He lost his job as a trainer in the firm where he was also a shareholder. He found a sales job in July, after several other attempts failed.
A spokesman for Sentosa Development declined to comment. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
Original Article @ http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2005/11/15/asia/12590094&sec=asia
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Tuesday November 15, 2005