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Judiciary

'Loss of voice, post surgery,' SC directs Manipal Hospital to pay Rs 10 lakh to patient [Read Order]

By Jhanak Singh      21 February, 2024 12:46 PM      0 Comments
Loss of voice post surgery SC directs Manipal Hospital to pay Rs lakh to patient

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has ordered the Manipal Hospital in Karnataka to pay Rs 10 lakh to the wife a deceased patient for deficiency in service, as he lost his voice, following a lung surgery in 2003.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah noted in the case, the Head of the Department of Anaesthesia was to administer anaesthesia to the deceased-appellant but, it was done by a trainee anaesthetist in Cardiac Anaesthesia Department.

The court rejected the Hospital's bid to rely upon the medical literature to reject the claim of deficiency in service.

"The records reveal that the Hospital did not object to the expert doctors deposing in the case, nor did the Hospital file an application for an expert to be appointed by the District Forum for giving an opinion in the instant case," the bench said.

The court said mere reliance on medical literature would not be sufficient to exonerate the Hospital from its duty of ensuring that the Head of the Department, Anaesthesia ought to have inserted the Double Lumen Tube.

"Instead, he was not available and the task was delegated to a trainee anaesthetist," the bench said.

The court doubled the compensation of Rs five lakh awarded by district consumer forum to the widow of patient J Douglas Luiz.

"We are of the opinion that the District Forum at Bengaluru ought to have taken all these aspects into consideration for arriving at a rightful compensation payable to the deceased which in the instant case, has not been done," the bench said.

The bench said since the complainant has died during the proceedings before the NCDRC, no useful purpose would be served for directing re-appreciation of the evidence.

The counsel for the appellant sought compensation of Rs 18 lakh.

He said that the appellant, working Area Sales Manager in a private firm, had virtually lost his voice and continued on the same post from the year 2003 onwards without promotion till he expired at the end of the year 2015.

Despite finding deficiency in service, the district forum arrived at a rough and ready figure of Rs five lakh as compensation, he said.

 

[Read Order]



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