Decided on June 30,2009

Augustine T D Appellant
M P Bhanumathi Respondents


- (1.)THIS complaint is filed alleging medical negligence on the part of the opposite party who is a Child Specialist by profession. The first and second complainants are the parents of the 3rd complainant who underwent treatment in the clinic of the opposite party. The complaint was filed in 1998. Unfortunately, the 3rd complainant passed away on 29.4.2002 while the case was under adjudication before this Commission.
(2.)THE 3rd complainant was 8 years of age in 1995 who was studying in the IIIrd standard at Government U.P. School, Adakathode and he was very health, bright and smart according to the complainant. It is the case of the complainant that on 14.9.1995 the 3rd complainant suffered from ordinary fever and was taken to the opposite party for treatment. The opposite party was the only Pediatrician near the residence of the complainants and that without any proper examination and stating that it was only a common fever, the opposite party gave an injection on the left buttock of the 3rd complainant (patient) and gave two tablets, one to be taken in the evening of the same day and the other to be taken next day morning. The opposite party had also prescribed a medicine which was to be purchased from outside. The complainants gave Rs. 65 towards consulting fee and the cost of the injection and tablets. It is alleged by the complainants that in the evening of the same day the patient (3rd opposite party) became very tired and rashes started to appear on the face and chest and by next day morning, the condition became very worse and as the patient started omitting and developed yellow colour in the eyes, the patient was again taken to the opposite party on 15.5.1999 morning itself. The complainants further allege that the opposite party disregarded the grievances of the patient and his parents and told them that the condition was due to sutty climate and would disappear within a few days. The opposite party gave some more medicines also. But as the condition of the patient became worse he was taken to one Dr. Devanand at Irutti on 16.9.1995 who advised the complainants to take the patient (3rd complainant) immediately to the Head Quarter Hospital and as such the patient was rushed to Koily Hospital, Kannur from where he was taken to Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode and he was admitted at around 11 p.m. At the Medical College Hospital the condition was diagnosed as Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and as advised by the doctors, the first complainant contacted the opposite party for getting the case sheet and the details of the drugs administered by her. The complainants further case is that though the opposite party issued the prescription details, it was noted that the 3rd complainant was shown to her on 13.5.1995 when admittedly the patient was taken to the opposite party for the first time only on 14.9.1995. Further it was stated that the patient had rashes inside the mouth and watering of the eyes on 13.9.1995 itself and that on 14.9.1995 there were rashes over the face and chest. The patient s treatment was continued in the Medical College Hospital up to 9.10.1995 and he was taken to Little Flower Hospital, Angamali and was admitted there on 10.10.1995 where the treatment continued till 8.11.1995 for saving the life. As the condition of the patient was not improving he was taken to Christian Medical College, Velloor where he was treated as inpatient from 9.11.1995 till 8.12.1995. By that time the sight of both eyes was lost on account of Stevens Johnson Syndrome and he had to depend on others. Though the patient was given the best medical care he could not be saved and the first complainant contacted the opposite party alleging deficiency in service. The opposite party though admitted that it was mistake on her part informed the complainant that she had an insurance policy and the company will indemnify her for all mistakes in her professional carrier. The first complainant believed the representations of the opposite party and was waiting for the compensation. It is also submitted in the complaint that in June 1996 the first complainant and the patient was summoned by the opposite party at her residence and offered an amount of Rs. 50,000 after getting signature in some stamp papers. First complainant was assured that the amount of Rs. 50,000 was only an advance and she would manage to get a substantial amount towards compensation from the Insurance Company. After two months another sum of Rs. 50,000 was also given by the opposite party. The opposite party further assured the first complainant that the Insurance Company had sanctioned a compensation of Rs. 6,00,000 and in such a situation he would be given Rs. 5,00,000 more within a period of 6 months.
(3.)IT is the case of the complainants that Rs. 1,00,000 was received by the first complainant on the belief that Rs. 5,00,000 more would be paid by the opposite party on getting Rs. 6,00,000 from the Insurance Company. However , after paying Rs. 1,00,000 no further amount was given by the opposite party and it was believing the opposite party that the complainant waited till July 1998 to file this complaint before the Commission. The complainants have claimed a sum of Rs. 15,00,000 towards compensation and as Rs. 1,00,000 has already been given the claim is limited to Rs. 14,00,000.
Resisting the complaint the opposite party filed version contenting that there was no deficiency on the part of the opposite party in administering medicine and treatment to the 3rd complainant and it was on a consideration of the pitiable condition of the complainants that an amount of Rs. 3,00,000 was paid as full and final settlement and hence the complainants claim for any further amount is not maintainable before this Commission. The plea of limitation is also taken as a ground for dismissing the complaint. The opposite party has further submitted that the 3rd complainant was taken to the opposite party on 14.9.1995 due to ordinary fever and watering from both eyes and some rashes in the mouth and after a through examination an injection of 0.5 ml avil was given to control the rashes and two more avil tablets were given with instruction to take half tablet twice daily. 6 paracetamole tablets were also given, one thrice daily for fever, an antibiotic named blumox was also prescribed which was to be purchased from outside. It is admitted that on 15.9.1995 also the opposite party had seen the 3rd complainant and gentamycin eye drops and vitamin B complex were prescribed. The opposite party claims that thereafter she had not seen the patient and she came to know that the child was suffering from Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) only later and that there was no negligence in treatment and that the amount of Rs. 3,00,000 was given under compelling circumstances. The opposite party further contended that the amount was given in the presence of some respectable persons of the locality as a full and final settlement so as to avoid threats of danger from the side of the first complainant and in such a situation no further sums could be paid to the complainants. The sanctioning of Rs. 6,00,000 by the Insurance Company and the offer of payment of Rs. 5,00,000, etc., were denied by the opposite party. It is also contented that Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a medically accepted complication which occurs due to various reasons and it will take atleast 7 to 21 days for the on set of the decease. Contenting that there was absolutely no negligence on her part the opposite party prayed for the dismissed of the complaint with compensatory costs.

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