Compensation of Rs. 20 lakh awarded in a case of death due to medical negligence

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission
(NCDRC): While holding Post Graduate Institute of
Medical Education & Research (PGI), Chandigarh guilty of medical negligence,
NCDRC upheld the order of Chandigarh State Commission and also enhanced the
total compensation from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh in case of death of a girl due
to delay in treatment. The Commission was hearing an appeal filed by the
parents of the deceased challenging the order of Chandigarh State Commission
vide which the Institute was directed to pay Rs 7 lakh and Chandigarh Transport
Undertaking (CTU) to pay Rs 3 lakh to them. The parents of the deceased
approached NCDRC for enhancement of compensation awarded by the State
Commission. PGI, Chandigarh had also filed appeal before Commission in the
matter. The facts of the case are that a schoolgirl aged about 16 years,
on her way from her school to residence was crushed by a CTU bus when she was
attempting to board it in July 2012. She was admitted into Advance Trauma
Centre (ATC) of PGI, Chandigarh. Due to medical negligence and incompetence, her
leg got infected and her left lower limb was amputated in an attempt to prevent
the gangrene from spreading to other parts of the body. Later as the doctors of
the Institute failed to check or control the spread of gangrene, it led to
untimely death of the girl. The parents had alleged that the girl died due to
delay in proper treatment and negligence on the part of the doctors of the
Institute. In its defense, Institute submitted that the deceased was planned
for surgery at the time of admission itself, but the procedure was delayed due
to heavy rush of patients in the hospital. After perusing the material on
record, which included report provided by eminent doctors in the case and
hearing both the parties, NCDRC held the Institute guilty for medical
negligence and noted that, “It may be pertinent to note that O.P.No.1-Hospital
is a prestigious medical institute. Therefore, it is expected from such
institute that it should work not in a purely bureaucratic manner i.e. patient
should be treated as per seniority in the queue, but it should be run in a
professional manner. The medical surgeries, operations and other emergency
treatments are to be administered keeping in view the nature of ailment,
seriousness and other exigencies as per the best judgment of the treating
doctor. In the present case, it is an admitted fact that condition of the
patient was quite serious from the time she was admitted in the Hospital.
Keeping in view the nature of ailment from which the patient was suffering,
O.P. No.1-Hospital should not have insisted on red  tapism.  On the
other hand, it is really unfortunate that due to the bureaucratic approach and
red tapism adopted by O.P. No.1-Hospital, a precious life of young girl
could not be saved.” While upholding the order of State Commission, NCDRC
dismissed the appeal filed by the Institute and increased the amount of
compensation in the matter. “We deem it appropriate to award a further sum
of Rs.10,00,000/- (Rupees Ten Lacs only) to the appellants, since they
have to bear with all  the trauma, mental agony, pain and sufferings,
throughout their remaining life,” NCDRC noted. [Amit Sarkar v. Post Graduate
Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, 2015 SCC OnLine
NCDRC 13, decided on 21.05.2015]

Source: Legal news India

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