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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Court questions the plaintiff in botched plastic surgery case

Court questions the plaintiff in botched plastic surgery case

Ex-schoolteacher says 2 Phnom Penh surgeons were careless during ear operation that disfigured the right side of her face.

A MUNICIPAL Court deputy prosecutor on Tuesday questioned a former schoolteacher who claims two Phnom Penh surgeons disfigured the right side of her face during botched ear surgery last year.

Nhem Tyhem Marin, 59, filed a complaint May 11 against Ly Bunchhoeun, a nose, throat and ear surgeon at Preah Ang Duong Hospital, and Duong Chheak, a surgeon at Calmette Hospital, seeking US$100,000 in compensation.

It's completely their fault for not fulfilling their... obligations.

"It's completely their fault for not fulfilling their professional obligations to treat my client in a careful way after receiving $500 to conduct ear surgery," said her lawyer, Som Chandina.

‘Careless' work

The complaint alleges that the surgeons were "careless" during the August 2008 operation, which Nhem Tyhem Marin says left her mouth, right eye and right ear disfigured. According to the complaint, her mouth "was not straight" and her eye "was unable to close" immediately after the operation, though the surgeons, she said, told her she would recover fully within one week.

Som Chandina stated in an interview that the surgeons later said it would take six months for her to recover, then paid her $2,200 to pursue treatment in Vietnam on the condition that she would not bring her complaint to Cambodian courts.

He said his client travelled to Vietnam in March and was told by doctors there that they could do nothing to help her and that the affected eye and ear would likely be paralysed forever.

Calls placed with both hospitals in an attempt to reach Ly Bunchhoeun and Duong Chheak went unreturned Tuesday. Both have been summoned to appear Monday before Deputy Prosecutor Heang Sopheak in Municipal Court.

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