Teen upset with doctor's remarks after settling lawsuit

Plastic surgeon Martin Huang leaving the High Court on Oct 25, 2011.
Plastic surgeon Martin Huang leaving the High Court on Oct 25, 2011. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A teenager, who settled a lawsuit against well-known plastic surgeon Martin Huang, said his remarks to the media after the settlement reopened many wounds and hurt her.

Through her lawyer Melanie Ho, the 17-year-old said: "I will never ever forget what happened to me that day and throughout this case all I wanted is for him to accept his mistake and for this to never happen to anyone else.

"His remarks after the case reopened many wounds and really hurt me."

Through her mother, the teen had sued Dr Huang, 50, for personal trauma and distress over photos taken of her in the nude prior to a scar removal last November.

Her parents are reviewing their legal options after reading Dr Huang’s insistence that the photos were "not wrongly taken".

He also maintains the case had been settled amicably "without any admission of liability".

He had said: "I am not apologising for wrongdoing but for the distress of her experience."

In an e-mail to the newspapers, her parents said: "We had wanted to close this traumatic chapter in our daughter’s life and were pleased with the settlement outcome on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, it was shortlived and we are aggrieved by the position he has taken with the media which we feel is inconsistent with the terms and spirit of the settlement."

They added that the newspaper reports had caused their daughter to break down in tears.

The terms of the settlement are confidential but include the destruction of the photos and digital records and an open and unequivocal letter of apology and regret for his actions from the doctor.

The teen, who cannot be named, went to his Orchard Road clinic to have a scar on her inner thigh removed.

Her mother signed a consent form for the procedure which included the taking of photos. She and the teen’s younger sister, aged 15, then left the centre.

When pictures were taken of her thigh, a nurse suddenly pulled the teen’s underwear off.

In the suit, the teen alleged that there was a lack of informed consent as well as negligence on the part of Dr Huang, causing her to suffer "extreme mental distress and trauma".

Contacted yesterday, Dr Huang said: "I do not understand the complaints of the family as the settlement reached does not include any admission of liability and I have given a letter of apology for her hurt feelings."