Pay Rs 5 lakh to kin of woman who died after surgery in govt hospital: Madras HC
The order was passed on a petition filed by her husband Subramaniyam in 2014, seeking compensation by alleging that the woman, Sita Lakshmi, died due to medical negligence.
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court directed the state government to pay Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to the family of a woman who died after falling into a coma, following surgery at the Kuzhithurai Government Taluk Hospital in Kanniyakumari. Even if there is no medical negligence, the government is obliged to pay as it happened in a government institution, the court said.
The order was passed on a petition filed by her husband Subramaniyam in 2014, seeking compensation by alleging that the woman, Sita Lakshmi, died due to medical negligence. Justice GR Swaminathan observed that the inquiry committee findings show that the doctors cannot be blamed for Lakshmi's death and the government already paid Rs 5 lakh ex gratia to Subramaniyam.
However, he also pointed out that after Lakshmi fell into a coma, Subramaniyam had spent more than Rs 3.75 lakh for her treatment at a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram and incurred more expenses later when she was admitted to Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital in Chennai for over seven months. Being an auto driver, he was deprived of his income during these seven months and would have suffered travel and other expenses as his children would have been left in Kanniyakumari, the judge noted and opined that the amount paid by the government would have hardly covered these expenses.
Referring to one of his own judgments passed in a similar case in 2021, the judge observed that when a patient admitted to a government hospital suffers any unexpected injury or death during treatment, the government is obliged to disburse ex gratia to the affected party, and directed the government to pay a further sum of Rs 5 lakh to Subramaniyam.