Rs 1.73 Cr paid to US-based doctor for death of wife

New Delhi: Awarding a record compensation in a medical negligence case, the country apex consumer panel has directed that a US-based Indian origin doctor be paid Rs 1.73 crore for the death of his wife while undergoing treatment at a prominent hospital in Kolkata in 1998.

The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission asked three Kolkata doctors and the Advanced Medicare and Research Institute to share the compensation amount. An NCDRC bench of Justice R C Jain fixed the compensation on a direction by the Supreme Court, which had referred US Doctor Kunal Saha`s appeal to it while holding the three doctors and the hospital culpable to civil liability for medical negligence which had led to the death of his wife Anuradha, herself a child psychologist, in 1998, when she was in the city on a summer vacation.

The apex court had asked the NCDRC to determine the compensation amount for Saha, who is working as

an HIV+/ AIDS researcher. The Supreme Court, in May 2009, had awarded the highest ever compensation of Rs one crore to a wheelchair-bound Infosys engineer Prashant S Dhananka for medical negligence in a surgery by Hyderabad`s Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) which damaged his spinal chord. He died in June this year.

While pegging the compensation due to Saha for his wife`s death at Rs 1,72,87,500, the NCDRC also held the US doctor responsible for contributing to the negligence committed by the three Kolkata doctors and the hospital and ordered 10 per cent deduction in the amount of compensation.