Madras High Court Rules That Thiruvarur Hospital Can Recover 5 Lakh In Compensation From Doctors And Officials In Medical Negligence Case
The Madras High Court has ruled that public officials who negligently cause financial damage to the State Exchequer must pay back the money that was lost.
Legal Matter Identifier: The Dean, Government Medical College Hospital, and Others v. Vijayalakshmi
The Dean of the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvarur and the District Collector in the same city had filed a civil revision appeal with Justice SM Subramaniam, asking him to nullify the Sub Court’s attachment order on the petitioner’s office’s movables.
After a botched operation left her completely blind in 2015, a lady filed a lawsuit against the hospital, alleging medical malpractice and seeking compensation. She proved negligence and the Sub Court in Thiruvarur an awarded her Rs 5 lakh in compensation, with the hospital ordered to pay the payment to her within three months.
After that, she filed a plea for her own execution. After five years, in September 2022, the Execution Court issued an order attaching the revision petitioners’ Office movables. There was a challenge to the order filed with the Supreme Court.
The petitioners seeking a reversal primarily argued that the public institution will suffer unnecessary hardship as a result of the attachment order.
The victim cannot be forced to go from pillar to post in an effort to collect the compensation sum that was awarded by the lower court as far back as 2016 according to the appellate court. It went on to say that the revision petitioners should have taken the necessary processes within a reasonable amount of time if they believed they had a stronger case.
Keeping in mind that the State Exchequer has the right to seek compensation from public personnel who have caused it financial harm by their own acts of carelessness, breaches in duty, or dereliction of duty.
“In this scenario, the State is responsible for paying compensation and then seeking reimbursement from the negligent medical professionals and government employees responsible for the injury. Recovering the public’s monetary loss should be done equitably by assigning blame to all of the authorities who were at fault for the administrative failures, carelessness, and dereliction of duty that caused it. Revision petitioners are obligated to investigate and take any necessary steps in accordance with the Service Rules.”
While the court did not find any grounds to overturn the attachment order, it did order that the decree amount of Rs 5 Lakhs be deposited with the Execution Court by January 10, 2023. This was done to preserve the dignity of the Public Office and avoid causing the public any unnecessary inconvenience.
“The Execution Court may, on or before January 30, 2023, distribute the aforementioned compensation decree amount to the respondent-plaintiff based on such deposit. If the revision petitioners do not pay the respondent the decree amount by January 10, 2023, the Execution Court will continue with the attachment of the assets as per the judgement of September 29, 2022. The attachment order dated September 29, 2022, is stayed until January 10, 2023 “Furthermore, it said.
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Judgement reviewed by Deepa Bajaj.