The Supreme Court of India has ordered Kolkata's AMRI Hospital and three doctors to pay over Rs 5.96 crore in compensation to an Indian-American doctor who had lost his 29-year-old child psychologist wife due to medical negligence in 1998.
Kunal Saha's wife Anuradha had been visiting her home town Kolkata in March 1998 for a vacation. She complained of skin rashes on April 25 and consulted Dr Sukumar Mukherjee who initially recommended her rest without prescribing any medicine and after the rashes worsened on May 7, Dr Mukherjee prescribed Depomedrol injection 80 mg twice daily.
Her condition continued to deteriorate quickly and she was admitted to AMRI on May 11 under Dr Mukherjee's supervision from where she was shifted to the Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai, where she was diagnosed with a rare and deadly skin disease, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN), and she lost her life on May 28, 1998.
Dr Saha had initially filed a petition with the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) against both AMRI Hospital and its doctors and the Breach Candy Hospital, demanding Rs 77 crore and Rs 25.3 crore respectively. While his petition was dismissed by the NCDRC, he took it to the apex court which though absolved the doctors and the hospitals of criminal liability for medical negligence, it held them culpable for civil liabilities and sent back the petition to NCDRC which had awarded a compensation of Rs 1.73 crore.
However a bench of justices C K Prasad and V Gopala Gowda has now raised the compensation amount to Rs 5.96 crore along with an interest of 6 percent since the time the petition was initially filed.