REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES REGIONAL TRIAL COURT SIXTH JUDICIAL REGION BRANCH 22, ILOILO CITY RUFFA MAE-HALILI

and HAYDEN HALILI, as represented by his mother Ruffa Mae-Halili Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halilis, - versus – VICTORIA KOH, ST. MARK’S MEDICAL CENTER, TRIPLE J PHARMACEUTICALS. Defendants. x------------------------------------------x ANSWER Civil Case No. 14344 FOR: DAMAGES

COMES the defendant, VICTORIA KOH, through counsel, and in answer to Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s complaint, unto this Honorable Court, respectfully alleges that:

1.

Defendant admits the averments in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the complaint.

2.

Defendant admits the averments in the first sentence of paragraph 3 of the complaint, with the additional information that the license to practice medicine as a physician referred to by the Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili, which is issued by the Board of Medicine, is in fact limited to general practice. In order to practice Obstetrics and Gynecology, further specialization must be undergone by a licensed general practitioner and this requirement had been satisfied by the defendant, she being a fellow of the Philippine Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology Society (POGS) having passed Parts I and II of the POGS Diplomate Examination in July 2002 and in August 2003 respectively.

3.

Defendant admits the averments in paragraphs 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the complaint.

4.

Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in paragraph 8 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same.

5.

Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in the first and second sentences of paragraph 9 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same.

6.

Defendant admits the averment in the third sentence of paragraph 9.

7.

Defendant admits the averments in paragraphs 10 and 11 of the complaint.

8.

Defendant admits the averment in the first sentence of paragraph 12 of the complaint.

9.

The allegations set forth in the second sentence of paragraph 12 of the complaint are inappropriate, the same being evidentiary rather than an averment of an ultimate fact, but just the same, in order to complete this answer, defendant specifically denies the averment the truth being that the defendant did inquire into the Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s medical history before prescribing the drug of Clonidine. It is standard procedure during check-ups that a patient fill out a Patient Information Form; this was followed in the Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s case.

10.

Defendant admits the averment in the first sentence of paragraph 13 of the complaint.

11.

Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in the second sentence of paragraph 13 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same.

12.

Defendant admits the averment in paragraph 14 of the complaint which states that “Triple J Pharmaceuticals is the manufacturer of Ceteprez.”

13.

Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment that “Triple J Pharmaceuticals is the direct supplier of medicines to the defendant hospital’s pharmacy” contained in paragraph 14 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same.

14.

Defendant denies the averment in the first sentence of paragraph 15 of the complaint the truth being that the Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili did not return for a follow-up session after her initial check-up. Thus, defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in the second sentence of paragraph 15 of the complaint.

15.

Defendant denies the averments in paragraph 16 of the complaint the truth being that due to the Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s failure to return for follow-up check-up sessions, defendant did not conduct further tests as well as give prescriptions for the Plaintiff Ruffa MaeHalili’s condition.

16.

Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in paragraph 17 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same.

17.

Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in paragraph 18 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same. Despite having no knowledge as to the facts surrounding the Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s

labor, defendant denies that it was premature labor because by July 20, 2007, the gestation period would already have been more than nine months. 18. Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in paragraph 19 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same. Despite having no knowledge as to the facts surrounding the Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s labor, defendant denies the fact the baby’s lungs and heart were not fully developed as caused by premature labor because by July 20, 2007, the gestation period would already have been more than nine months. 19. Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averment contained in paragraph 20 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same. 20. Defendant admits the averments in paragraphs 21 and 22 of the complaint. 21. Defendant has no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the averments contained in paragraphs 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29 of the complaint, therefore hereby deny the same. 22. Defendant denies the averments in paragraph 30 of the complaint the truth being that defendant is a fellow of the Philippine Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology Society (POGS) having passed Parts I

and II of the POGS Diplomate Examination in July 2002 and in August 2003 respectively. 23. The allegations set forth in paragraph 31 of the complaint are inappropriate, the same not being an averment of an ultimate fact but just the same, in order to complete this answer, defendant admits the averments in paragraph 31 of the complaint with the additional information that the decision rendered by the Board of Medicine suspending the defendant was based on the violation of Article III Section 5 of the Code of Ethics of the Medical Profession, and not Article II, Section 1. Also, an appeal was made before the Commissioner of Civil Service and the five-year suspension was reduced to two years.

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES Defendant repleads the foregoing allegations and aver further that: 24. Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili has no cause of action against the defendant, since there was no misrepresentation, the defendant being a licensed OB-GYNE. 25. Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s medical history was obtained prior to the prescription by defendant of the drug Ceteprez. 26. In any event, plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili did not show any relationship between the alleged failure to obtain the medical history and the alleged injury suffered by her.

27. The defendant observed good faith and used the skills of an average physician with ordinary diligence when she prescribed the drug Ceteprez, such drug being commonly used for treating

hypertension. 28. Responsibility for any injuries which may have arisen as a result of the deficiency as to the strength, quality and purity of the Ceteprez tablets ingested by Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili would lie with its manufacturer, Triple J Pharmaceuticals. 29. The physician-patient relationship had ceased when Plaintiff Ruffa MaeHalili failed to return for her monthly check ups with defendant hence defendant cannot be faulted for the management or mismanagement of Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s medical condition. 30. In any event, it was Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili’s own conduct that resulted in the underdevelopment of Plaintiff Hayden Halili’s lungs and heart, and in his permanent blindness. Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili admitted in her Patient Information Form that in December, 2006, she had ingested Cytotec, the generic name being Misoprostol, as treatment for her peptic ulcers. This abortificient drug is also known and proven to cause considerable organ damage in fetuses whose mothers ingest this drug during their second trimesters of pregnancy.

As and by way of COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM, answering defendant alleges that:

31.

Defendant repleads anew, insofar as they are applicable, the foregoing averments.

32.

Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili has filed a malicious and groundless action. She alleged that there was premature labor, knowing fully well that such is an impossibility, because the gestation period of her baby had already reached its tenth month.

33.

The filing of this action has caused the defendant mental anguish, serious anxiety and embarrassment and has besmirched her reputation for which she should be compensated by way of moral damages, the amount of which, though not capable of pecuniary estimation, would not be less than P200,000.

34.

The answering defendant was forced to secure the services of counsel to defend her interest from Plaintiffs’ action, the reasonable value of which would not be less than P100,000.

And for her CROSSCLAIM against her co-defendant Triple J Pharmaceuticals, answering defendant further alleges that:

35.

Defendant hereby repleads all the material allegations contained in the foregoing counterclaim; answer with affirmative defenses and in the

36. Defendant

Triple

J

Pharmaceutical

should

reimburse

answering

defendant on any and whatever amount the latter may be ordered to pay under the present action in favor of the plaintiff, defendant Triple J Pharmaceutical having responsibility for the defects in the drugs and any injury that may have resulted therefrom.

Wherefore, defendant VICTORIA KOH respectfully prays to the Honorable Court to render judgment as follows: 1. By dismissing the complaint with costs against Plaintiff Ruffa MaeHalili. 2. By ordering Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili to pay answering defendant moral damages amounting to not less than P200,000, plus attorney’s fees of not less than P100,000.00 and the costs of the suit. 3. By ordering defendant Triple J Pharmaceutical to pay directly and full to the Plaintiffs the amounts claimed, in the event that the Court finds Plaintiffs’ claim to be meritorious. 4. By ordering defendant Triple J Pharmaceutical to pay answering defendant for any and whatever amounts the latter may be ordered to pay Plaintiffs under the present action.

Answering defendant prays for such other and further relief as may be just and equitable.

Quezon City, Philippines, February 19, 2009.

By: Michico Rizza G. Oi OI BERNARDO MAYUGA SALAMAT LAW FIRM Counsel for Plaintiff Ruffa Mae-Halili 15 Jupiter Street, Congressional Avenue, Quezon City

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