Samoa court to probe infant deaths

Yesterday, the Supreme Court sentenced two nurses to five years in jail after they pleaded guilty to negligence causing the manslaughter of the infants, Lana Samuelu and Lameko Sui.

When delivering the decision, the acting chief justice Vui Clarence Nelson said a medical report showed the vaccine had been incorrectly mixed with an expired anesthetic.

He added six months to the five-year sentence of Nurse Luse Tauvale, who also pleaded guilty to conspiring to defeat the cause of justice by concealing the syringes and the bottle which contained the anesthetic.

Samoan nurses sent to jail over babies death

While handing down his decision today, Acting Chief Justice Vui Clarence Nelson stressed that there is no question in his mind that an imprisonment sentence is required.

He also stressed that the defendants are accountable for the harm that they have caused not only to the victims, whose lives were cut short but also the harm to the two families involved.

Senior nurse Luse Emo Tauvale pleaded guilty to the two charges of manslaughter and one charge of attempting to obstruct and defeat the cause of justice for the death of both Lanacalysteh Samuelu and Lameko Si’u.

Jail not sought for Samoan nurses over baby deaths

Nurses Luse Emo Tauvale and Leutogi Te'o pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month and will be sentenced next Tuesday in Samoa's Supreme Court.

On Friday, prosecution and defence lawyers agreed to recommend to judges the nurses be banned from their profession for two-years and be required to undertake training.

Samoa's health ministry said the babies' deaths were caused by the nurses mixing the wrong liquid with the vaccine for Measles, Mumps and Rubella.


Defence lawyer in Samoa MMR case fails to attend court again

V1Samoa reported that this raised the ire of Chief Justice Patu TIavasue Falefatu Sapolu who asked the nurses if they still wanted lawyer Lefau Harry Schuster to represent them.

He said the court had the authority to make a change in their legal representative if needed.

The nurses, Leuatogi Te'o and Luse Emo Tauvale, told the Supreme Court they still wanted the former parliamentarian to represent them.

Samoa Nurses Association questions decision to charge nurse

The nurse has been charged with negligence causing death and perverting the cause of justice relating to the deaths of the two babies following measles, mumps and rubella immunisations last month.

The association's president, Solialofi Papali'i, said they were confused as to why the nurse has been arrested, and also why a second nurse, who apparently administered the vaccine, was not charged as well.

She also said that Commission of Inquiry into the matter was not complete and that the post mortem results, done by Australian experts, were not even in the country.

Nurse charged over infant deaths in Samoa

A statement from the Attorney General, Lemalu Herman Retzlaff confirmed that one of the nurses involved with the vaccination injections of the two babies who passed away 6 July, 2018, was charged by police on Saturday 4 August, 2018. 

Lemalu said the nurse will appear in Court 14 August 2018, where the charges will be confirmed publically. 

According to the AG, “the file was referred to this office for advice last week, after swift and hard-working investigations by the CID section of the Ministry of Police both in Apia and Savaii, which is to be commended.”