Decided on May 27,2009

V.G.Gopinathan Appellant
John Ponnat Respondents


M.V.VISHWANATHAN, JUDICIAL MEMBER - (1.)COMPLAINT under Section 17 of the Consumer Protection Act.
(2.)THE case of the complainant is as follows: the complainant was working as consultant in aquaculture. His clientele extended nation vide and he was in constant demand as a consultant. He was formerly working as senior Class I Officer, Government of Goa till 1994. He held various posts under the Government of Goa. He has undertaken training in acquaculture as a UNDP fellow with SEAFDEC, Phillipines. He holds also a post graduate degree in Fishery Science. The complainant had also started a concern extending consultancy services in acquaculture. He is considered as one of the leading consultants in the field. He was blessed with a clear diction and reasonant voice and so he was able to carry on his consultancy in a successful way. He was able to achieve success in his field of consultancy and he was getting income exceeding Rs.3,00,000 and up to Rs. 5,00,000 per annum. In March 1999, the complainant experienced loss of body weight and slight trembling of his hands. This constant weight loss continued to the extent that he lost 11 kgs in between 1999 and 2001. He consulted the 2nd opposite party Dr. K.P. Poulose, Department of Medicine on 10.2.2000 attached to 3rd opposite party hospital. 2nd opposite party prescribed the medicine by name ˜Restyl 25 mg. The said medicine did not yield any relief and so on 10.5.2000 the 2nd opposite party advised the complainant to discontinue the same. In March 2001, the complainant lost his voice. He could not speak clearly. The 2nd opposite party did not order any special tests. The complainant consulted 1st opposite party Dr. John Ponnat, Department of ENT, SUT hospital on 23.3.2001. The 1st opposite party rendered his opinion that the complainants right vocal cord is paralysed. The complainant on the advice of the 1st opposite party X -ray examination of the chest was carried out. CT Scan of brain stem and brain was done. These procedures were performed at the 3rd opposite party hospital. The report of the scan was shown to the 1st opposite party on 27.3.2001. The 1st opposite party did not order or conduct a CT Scan or ultra sound scan of the neck or throat of the complainant for reasons best known to him. The previous clinical history of the complainant including weight loss and trembling of hands experienced by complainant were informed to the 1st opposite party. The 1st opposite party diagnosed palsy of the vocal cord as ˜idiopathic and advised the complainant that it is without any clinical reason. He prescribed ˜Neurobion Forte tablets as medication and informed complainant that the voice would automatically improve in three months time. The complainant again visited the 1st opposite party in the 3rd opposite partys hospital on 25.4.2001, 25.5.2001 and 25.6.2001. On the last mentioned date, the 1st opposite party advised the complainant that the voice has not improved and hence a surgical operation would be necessary. He explained that the surgical procedure involves placing the vocal cord closer using a Teflon device. The family and friends of the complainant advised him to take a 2nd opinion. The complainant consulted Dr. R. Jayakumar at GG hospital. Thiruvananthapuram on 8.9.2001. After examination of the complainant, Dr Jayakumar told him that there is a hard lesion in the right lobe of the thyroid gland. He advised scans of the neck area and FNAC thyroid right lobe at once. Those tests were performed on 11.9.2001.
(3.)THE scans revealed that:
(a) The complainants thyroid has a mass lesion arising from the right lobe of the thyroid gland extending down.

(b) Evidence of calcification noted in the lesion.

(c ) The lesion is large of size 34 Ã - 25 Ã - 22 mms on the right lobe.

(d) It is situated such that trachea and oesophagus are displaced towards left.

(e) The lesion is hypoechoice on the ultra sound scan

(f) The lumen of the larynx is widened with lateral displacement of right vocal cord.

The FNAC test revealed that:

(a) The thyroid gland is subject to follicular neoplasm follicular carcinoma and follicular variant of pappillary carcinoma.

(b) This was suspected to be malignant in nature.

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