New Delhi: A compensation of Rs 38.4 lakh has been awarded to the family of a woman chartered accountant, who suffered brain damage and is in vegetative state since 1999 after undergoing a fertility test at a Hyderabad-based maternity clinic, by the apex consumer commission. The clinic and its two doctors were directed by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) to pay the compensation on a plea by the husband and the minor daughter of the patient Rupa Mutha.
They had alleged she suffered brain damage after undergoing Fallopian Tube Test at the Desai Maternity Clinic and Nursing Home run by Dr Jayashree Desai, who along with Dr Sampath Kumar, the anaesthetist, performed the test. The NCDRC relied on the medical records of the patient's treatment at the clinic and the affidavit of Hyderabad-based Care Hospital which had said she was brought to it in comatose condition and had suffered brain damage due to hypoxia (inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain).
"In the background of the detailed consideration of the evidence on record, the findings reached by us and in the light of the applicable law, we have no hesitation in holding that the opposite parties (the two doctors and the clinic) have committed serious deficiency of service in the treatment of Rupa Mutha (patient).
"Therefore, the complaint must succeed. The opposite parties need to compensate her for her medical condition resulting directly from her treatment by them," the bench presided by Justice JM Malik said. Rupa's husband, Sanjay Mutha, had sought compensation of Rs 6.8 crore towards the incurred and projected expenses of her treatment and loss of her professional earnings as she was a chartered accountant.
The NCDRC, however, awarded Rs 20.4 lakh towards expenses incurred on her treatment and maintenance along with Rs 18 lakh as compensation for physical and mental suffering undergone by her and her family. The doctors in their defence had refuted the allegations of medical negligence against them.