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After 25 years, Rs 20 lakh compensation for medical negligence

02:46 AM Nov 14, 2021 | Sweety Adimulam

The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed a Nallasopara hospital and one of its doctors to pay a woman’s family Rs 20 lakh as compensation and an additional Rs 1 lakh for causing death due to medical negligence. It dismissed the appeal challenging a February 2015 order passed by the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ending a two-decade long legal battle by the aggrieved family.

The order states that the awarded compensation should be paid in full within six weeks from November 11, failing which an interest of 6 per cent per annum will be levied on the entire amount till its realisation.

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The case dates back to 1995 when Mayuri Bramhbhat, who had a rare blood group, died of heavy, uncontrolled bleeding during childbirth. The victim’s family claimed she lost her life because the doctor delayed the decision to shift her to a better equipped hospital by over five hours. They filed a case against the hospital and the doctor and the state consumer commission ruled in their favour, directing the doctor and the hospital to compensate the family with Rs 16 lakh in 2015. This order was later challenged by the doctor before the NCDRC.

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In its November 11, 2021 order, the NCDRC has not only upheld the February 2015 order but also enhanced the compensation to Rs 20 lakh. The case was argued by consumer rights activist advocate Shirish Deshpande and Dr Archana Sabnis, both before the state and the national Commission.

Advocate Deshpande, who also heads the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, said, “I welcome the judgment, particularly the enhanced part of compensation because the commission has shown sensitivity to the delay in the disposal of the matter.”

Meanwhile, the order by SM Kantikar of NCDRC sensitively quoted Susan Wiggs, “There is something about losing a mother that is permanent and inexpressible – a wound that will never quite heal. We understand how challenging and painful a Mother’s day is without a mom.”

The order also states that if the complainant remarries, then the entire amount shall be paid in equal proportions to both the daughters of the deceased.

Also Read: FPJ Legal: No special cell needed to oversee medical negligence complaints, Maharashtra govt informs Bombay HC

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