Oct – 15: SETTLED IN COURT
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in monthly
Hospital, doctor to pay Rs. 18.5 lakh for botched-up knee surgery
Mumbai-based Veera Kotwal, who had rheumatoid arthritis, underwent a knee joint replacement surgery at Hinduja Hospital in 1996. She suffered complications as the wound got infected. She was in great pain, could not walk and had fever. She was treated with antibiotics but the problem did not abate. Veera was discharged but was re-admitted for treatment of infection. She was operated on again but the infection persisted. On consulting another doctor Veera was advised to undergo revision surgery in the US. She underwent surgery in New York and got complete relief. The cost incurred for medical treatment came to Rs. 15.74 lakh and air fare cost Rs. 2.33 lakh. Veera decided to file a case before the Maharashtra State Commission in 1998.
According to her counsel, she had contracted the infection in the operation theatre and had not received adequate post-operative treatment. The court observed that the failure of the opponents to attend to the clinically diagnosed problem amounted to medical negligence and deficiency in service. Though the opponents possessed skill and knowledge of their subject they had failed to take corrective steps. In its order dated 9 December 2014, the Commission directed the hospital and Dr Agarwala to jointly and severally pay Rs. 18.08 lakh to the complainant with interest at 9%. They were also told to pay costs of Rs. 50,000 to Veera.
Postal authorities made to pay interest due in PPF account
A public provident fund (PPF) account was opened in the name of Lalit N. Bhagwati in Ahmedabad in 1992. The power of attorney holder was Malati L. Bhagwati. Amounts were deposited in the account periodically. The passbook was also updated by the postal authorities showing interest entries. However, when Malati approached them for payment of maturity proceeds, she was informed that only the principal amount would be given, not the interest. Distressed, she wrote to the post office on 28 July 2009. Imagine her shock when she received a reply informing her that a power of attorney holder can neither open a PPF account nor operate it on behalf of a subscriber as per a notification of the Ministry of Finance dated 12 April 2004.
The complainant contended that the PPF account was opened much before the notification. She approached CERS and a case was filed in the Consumer Forum. The Forum, in its order dated 19 April 2012, directed the postal authorities to pay interest at 6% from the date of opening of the PPF account. CERS filed an appeal with the Gujarat State Commission saying that Malati was entitled to interest as per entries made in the passbook. As per the Commissionâ€™s order of 28 November 2014, the interest would have to be paid as applicable from time to time from the date the account was opened till the first date of maturity. From the date of maturity till the amount was paid, the interest rate would be 6%. If the amount was not paid within 45 days, the interest rate enforced on the whole amount would be 9%.