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The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay about Rs 2 crore as compensation to a girl who lost sight in both eyes 19 years ago due to “medical negligence” of doctors at the Government Women and Child Hospital in Egmore, Chennai, when the child was kept in the incubator.
A bench of Justices J.S. Khehar and S.A. Bobde rejected the contention of the Tamil Nadu government that there was no “medical negligence” on the part of the doctors as the parents alone were responsible as they never turned up for examination after four months.
On a complaint of medical negligence filed by one Krishnakumar alleging that his daughter, Sai Saranya, lost her eyesight due to “retinopathy” as the premature baby was not taken proper care of, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission awarded Rs 5 lakh as compensation. It was also alleged that the doctors failed to inform them the child was prone to retinopathy disorder and that they were not advised that tests had to be conducted within four weeks of the child’s birth. They came to know about her condition only after the child could not see properly. Aggrieved with the order, the Tamil Nadu government preferred to appeal in the apex court.
Dismissing the appeal, the bench held that the girl lost her eyesight only due to medical negligence of the doctors. Holding that it was a serious case and the negligent doctors should not be allowed to go scot free, the bench directed government to pay about Rs 2 crore, which includes the Rs 42 lakh spent by the parents for her treatment, and interest for the award of Rs 1.38 crore.