Oct – 16: SETTLED IN COURT
Coaching class taught lesson for poor service
Abhivyakti Verma was a little weak in chemistry and mathematics. Her parents enrolled her in Oxford Tutors Academy in Mumbai before her class XII exams. The academy had claimed it had experienced faculty and would send tutors home but it failed to provide chemistry classes for the first month. Also, the maths teacher was not fluent in English and could not help her much.
Other teachers failed to provide expected support. The academy did not provide revision classes as promised. As a result of this deficiency in service, Abhivyakti could not even score 60% in her exam. Her mother Neena, an advocate, filed a case against the Oxford Tutors Academy and represented herself in court. The academy did not reply to the courtâ€™s notice and Neena won the case.
The Mumbai district forum ordered the academy to refund the fee of Rs. 54,000 and pay up Rs. 3 lakh as compensation for mental harassment that the student and her family suffered as well as Rs. 10,000 towards litigation costs.
Point of law
This landmark judgement indicates that if a coaching class does not provide proper teaching services it is liable to pay compensation.
Doctors need not stay with patient all the time
Kantilal Joshi, 86, was admitted in Sheth PT Surat General Hospital with respiratory problems in 2012. He was being treated by Dr. Sameer Gami. Since Dr. Gami had to go out of station, another doctor began looking after the patient. The patient died and his son Manish sued the doctors and hospital for medical negligence demanding Rs. 2 crore.
He claimed that Dr. Gami, a chest specialist, had not briefed the other doctor properly about the patientâ€™s condition. Dr. Gami argued that the patient had chronic end-stage disease. Due to his critical condition, he was put on invasive ventilator support taking consent from Manish.
The National Commission did not agree with the complainant. It felt that since the patient was admitted in a hospital and not a private clinic, arrangements for alternative treatment are permissible if a doctor took leave. Also, the patient had died within just six hours of being examined by Dr. Gami and a doctor cannot be expected to remain with a patient 24 hours a day. As for the allegation that the substitute doctor had not been briefed, it observed that no such briefing was necessary since all details were mentioned in the treatment record.
Point of law
A doctor, like any other professional, can take leave, if necessary. He cannot be expected to remain with a patient for 24 hours a day.