The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has ordered a private hospital in Burdwan district to pay Rs 8 lakh to a man whose wife had died hours after giving birth to a girl in 2000, stating that the death amounted to “negligence on the hospital’s part” and that the amount was adequate for the mental agony of bringing up a motherless child.
The NCDRC had allowed complainant Jitendra Nath Chowdhury’s appeal against a previous West Bengal state commission order that had given Niranjan Smriti Kalyan Kendra, also known as Priyabala Nursing Home, a clean chit.
The NCDR bench, presided by DK Jain, held the hospital guilty of negligence and noted that the doctor, nursing staff had failed to establish that they had performed their duty of taking care, as per standard, established norms of normal medical parlance. The bench said, “Having regard to the fact that the patient was only 32 years’ old with a life expectancy of 70 years and died within a day of C-section delivery, leaving behind an infant baby girl; was previously engaged as a private tutor, earning Rs 800-1,000 per month.”
According to the complaint, Chowdhury’s wife underwent C-section surgery on May 22, 2000 and gave birth to a baby girl a few days before the due delivery date in June as the doctor suspected that the umbilical cord was around the neck of the foetus. Soon after the delivery, the staff lifted the woman by their hands instead of using a stretcher to shift her to another room but dropped her on the floor in the process due to which she suffered head injuries, it said.
When the man asked for a doctor, the staff refused and said the woman had already been given medication, it alleged, adding that the woman’s condition kept deteriorating and delay on the part of the doctor in attending to her proved fatal. During the proceedings, the counsel for the nursing home, doctors and the staff denied the allegations levelled by the complainant and claimed that such claims were not specified in the FIR.
“The medical expenses incurred and the fact that there is no straight-jacket formula to quantify the loss of a wife to the husband, the loss of love and affection of a mother to the infant, we are of the considered view that a lump sum amount of Rs 8 lakh would be adequate and just compensation for the mental agony in rearing of motherless children,” the bench added.
For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App now