heartbreaking | 

Irish family left in limbo after Qatari court cuts compo for young girl left with severe burns

The 9-year-old was just a baby when she suffered third degree burns in a house fire.

Elizabeth Soffe | Instagram

Clodagh MeaneySunday World

An Irish family have been left in limbo after a Qatari court cut compensation awarded to their daughter in half.

Elizabeth Soffe was just six months old when her family’s home in Al-Waab caught fire, leaving her with third-degree burns to 60 per cent of her body. She also lost fingers, her hair, an ear and part of her nose.

As a result, she needs lifelong treatment.

Following a six-year court battle for compensation to help fund the treatment they were awarded €3.8m, but now a court in Qatar has cut that figure to $1.98m following a second ruling.

Elizabeth’s parents, Sinead and Liam who now live in the UK, lodged a lawsuit in 2017 against Al-Asmakh Real Estate Development, the company that managed their villa.

The company were ordered to pay QR15 million (€3.8million) in compensation after a fire expert said that the blaze was caused by a faulty electrical supply or poor maintenance of an air conditioning unit.

However, now the company have appealed and the ruling was overturned, lowering the compensation to approximately €1.8 million.

Her father told The Guardian: “They rejected [costs for] all future treatment – operations and prosthetics.”

“She has had 70-80 operations on the NHS, and she will probably need at least another two every year until she’s an adult.”

“We’ve spent about £25,000 on court fees so far. UK solicitors (say) that if the case was heard here, the compensation would be between £8 million and £10 million. (In Qatar) there’s almost no consideration of what we would consider … mental health and trauma.”

“All we want is for Elizabeth to be taken care of, so that she has a life and opportunities,” he added.

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