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Man’s kidney removed during stone operation; hospital ordered to pay Rs 11.23 lakh compensation

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Ahmedabad, October 19

A consumer court in Ahmedabad in Gujarat directed a hospital to pay Rs 11.23 lakh as compensation with interest to the relatives of a patient whose death was caused soon after a doctor at the facility removed his kidney instead of operating on a stone in the kidney.

The consumer court held the charitable trust run KMG General Hospital in Balasinor in Gujarat’s Mahisagar district responsible for “medical negligence” through “vicarious liability”, or “the liability of an employer for the negligent act of its employees”.

“An employer is responsible not only for his own acts of commission and omission but also for the negligence of its employees, so long as the act occurs within the course and scope of their employment,” said the order passed recently by Dr JG Mecwan, presiding member of Gujarat Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission at Ahmedabad.

It ordered the hospital to pay Rs 11.23 lakh to the complainant with 7.5 per cent interest from the date of filing of the complaint till its realization, as well as Rs 5,000 towards mental agony and cost to the complaint.

The court’s order came on a plea filed by United India Insurance Company Limited challenging an order passed by District Consumer Redressal Commission at Nadiad in August 2012 on a complaint by the legal heirs of the deceased patient Devendra Raval.

In its 2012 order, the district commission ordered the doctor, hospital and insurance company to pay Rs 11.23 lakh compensation with interest to the complainant.

The hospital had taken insurance policy legal liability for indoor and outdoor patients, and the state commission said since it was not taken for professional indemnity, or medical negligence of the doctor and hospital, the insurance company was not liable to make payment.

As per the original complaint, Raval had approached the hospital on May 24, 2011 with complaints including difficulty urinating, and a probe showed he had a 14 millimetre stone in his kidney.

He was advised to go for some higher centre for operation, but given his financial situation, he preferred to take medicines prescribed by the doctors at the hospital, and his condition worsened, after which, on September 3, 2011, he had to undergo an operation at the same hospital.

Though the operation was for the removal of the stone, his left kidney was removed and, during the post-operative period, the patient was unable to pass urine.

As his condition worsened, he was shifted to another hospital, and from there to Kidney Hospital in Ahmedabad, where he died on January 8, 2012, as per the original complaint. —PTI

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