• Kyodo

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The Saitama District Court ordered Saitama Medical School and three doctors Wednesday to pay 76 million yen in damages for malpractice that caused the death of a 16-year-old girl in 2000.

The parents of Yuri Furudate had sought 230 million yen in damages from the school and six school staff members, including the three doctors, accusing them of malpractice and a subsequent coverup.

While ordering the school and the doctors to pay redress over the malpractice, the court dismissed the parents’ demand for compensation for the alleged coverup.

Furudate, a high school junior from Konosu, Saitama Prefecture, was hospitalized at the medical institution in September 2000 for treatment of a tumor in her jaw.

The court said her attending doctor, Ichiro Sumi, 34, administered a cancer drug for seven straight days after misreading instructions that said it should be given only once a week. The overdose caused the girl to die of multiple organ failure on Oct. 7, 2000.

The parents claimed the doctor and other hospital officials conspired to create a false death certificate attributing the death to natural causes.

But the court turned down the parents’ demand for compensation for the “psychological pain” caused by the falsified death certificate, saying there was no evidence of an attempt to cover up the mistake.

The parents had also filed a criminal complaint in 2001 against the school and the six former medical center officials, with prosecutors charging three of them with professional negligence.

The three, including Sumi, are the same as those ordered to pay damages in Wednesday’s ruling.

After Wednesday’s ruling, the parents said presiding Judge Tamio Hirota erred in judging there was no coverup conspiracy.

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