AMRI Hospital medical negligence case: Supreme Court awards highest-ever compensation

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Supreme Court hiked compensation amount of Rs 1.73 crore, awarded by the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in 2011, to Rs 5.96 crore to Kunal Saha. Reuters Supreme Court hiked compensation amount of Rs 1.73 crore, awarded by the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in 2011, to Rs 5.96 crore to Kunal Saha. Reuters
SummaryA shocking medical negligence case has led Supreme Court to order a record compensation.

there on May 28, 1998.

Earlier, NCDRC had fixed the compensation on a direction by the apex court, which had referred Saha's appeal to it while holding the three doctors and the hospital culpable to civil liability for medical negligence which had led to the death of Anuradha.

Saha, in his plea before NCDRC, had demanded a record Rs 77 crore as compensation.

Anuradha complained of skin rashes and on April 25, had consulted Dr Sukumar Mukherjee, who, without prescribing any medicine, simply asked her to take rest.

As rashes reappeared more aggressively on May 7, 1998, Dr Mukherjee prescribed Depomedrol injection 80 mg twice daily, a step which was later faulted by experts at the apex court.

After administration of the injection, Anuradha's condition deteriorated rapidly following which she had to be admitted at AMRI on May 11 under Dr Mukherjee's supervision.

As Anuradha's condition failed to improve, she was flown to Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, where she was found to be suffering from a rare and deadly skin disease--Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). She died there on May 28, 1998.

Saha had then filed a criminal as well as civil case against the doctors and both the hospitals on the ground that they were grossly negligent in her treatment leading to her death.

In 2009, though the apex court absolved the doctors and the hospitals of criminal liability for medical negligence, it had held them culpable of civil liabilities and referred Saha's plea for compensation under provisions of the Consumer Protection Act to NCDRC, which, had in 2006, dismissed, the case.

After the NCDRC judgement, Saha had again moved the apex court and the three doctors had also filed an appeal before it.

Historic judgement: Dr Kunal Saha

Kolkata: US-based Indian-origin doctor Dr Kunal Saha today described the Supreme Court awarding a compensation of Rs 5.96 crore for medical negligence which led to his wife's death, as a "historic judgement that will have a major impact on standard of medical care in India."

Terming the judgement as "historic", Saha said in an email from USA that this "will have major impact on medical negligence and standard of medical care in India."

"This will send a strong message to all negligent doctors and unscrupulous hospitals that are reaping (sic) innocent patients everyday across India," he said.

"Today's verdict is also likely to increase the value of every human life in India," Saha, who founded People for Better Treatment to fight against

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