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Ramesh Chandra Goswami v/s Dr. Dipak Banerjee & Others

    Case No. 422/0 of 1995

    Decided On, 04 January 2001

    At, West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Kolkata


    For the Appellant: --------. For the Respondents: --------.

Judgment Text

S.C. Datta, President

1. The complainant is husband of the deceased Arati Goswami. He has approached this Commission claiming compensation to the tune of Rs. 10 lakhs for the death of his wife on 31.8.1993 due to defective operation performed by the opposite party-1 on 7.7.1993.

2. The case of the complainant in short is that his wife Arati Goswami suddenly fell ill on 30.6.1993 due to pain in the abdomen. She was immediately taken to Dr. Dipak Banerjee (opposite party-1) in his chamber for advice and treatment. After examination the said doctor advised for immediate operation for appendicitis. On his advice the pat

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ent was admitted to Shush Usha Nursing Home (opposite party-3) on 6.7.1993 at about 10.40 p.m. On the next day i.e. on 7.7.1993 at about 7.45 a.m. Dr. Banerjee performed the operation on the patient with the help of anaesthetist Dr. Sujit das (opposite party- 2). Immediately after operation the patient experienced respiratory trouble. The complainant alleges that this occurred due to negligence of the doctor performing the operation, nursing staff and absence of oxygen cylinder in the said nursing home. There is further allegation that no cardiologist was called for. In fact, tune patient lay uncared for about more than four hours in a precarious condition. Dr. Banerjee called Dr. S.K. Chatterjee, cardiologist (opposite party-4) at about 12 noon. Dr. Chatterjee noticed the precarious condition of the patient and advised shifting of the patient to a reputed hospital in Calcutta as otherwise she would be in a state of coma. Dr. Chatterjee further observed that this was a case of cerebral attack. The patient was shifted to Calcutta and admitted in the neurological medicine ward (female) of SSKM Hospital. The patient lay unconscious and she never regained her consciousness. Ultimately she expired on 31.8.1993. According to the complainant Dr. Banerjee being not a gynaecologist had no authority to perform such an intricate operation. Moreover, there was absence of necessary equipments and facilities at the nursing home resulting in untimely death of the patient. The complainant lodged complaint with the West Bengal Medical Council but without any consequence. Thereafter he approached this Commission for redress.3. The case is contested by the opposite parties-1 and 2 by filing a joint written version. It has been stated that he was sent for examination of the patient at the nursing home on 6.7.1993 and he advised immediate operation of the patient considering the seriousness of the ailment. Dr. Banerjee noticed that it was a case of pathological appendicitis. He advised for immediate surgery and also suggested that another surgeon should be consulted for second opinion. But the complainant insisted upon him to perform the operation. The complainant having expressed inability to consult another surgeon and having given procedural consent for such operation. Dr. Banerjee surgically removed the appendicitis of the patient with the help of opposite party-2 after taking all necessary precautions and following approval medical procedures for such surgery. The patient having felt respiratory trouble, Dr. Chatterjee was sent for who arrived on the same date at about 12 noon and advised for hospitalisation. The opposite party denied that the patient died because of negligence Since time was very short and condition of the patient worsened they had no time for detailed pathological examination before the operation.4. The sole point for determination in this case is whether the complainant has succeeded in establishing deficiency in service in the matter of operation of the patient on 7.3.1993. Several facts are admitted. Dr. Banerjee is MBBS (Cal) and MAIMS (Delhi). Anyway the complainant consulted him while his wife fell ill following a pain in the abdomen, Dr. Banerjee performed the operation and removed the appendix. It has been alleged that he is not qualified to perform the said operation. It may be remembered that he is an MBBS doctor and as such it cannot be disputed that he had authority to perform the operation. The operation was done and appendix was removed within a few hours. The patient developed respiratory trouble and Dr. S.K. Chatterjee, a cardiologist was sent for. He observed that it was a case of cerebral attack. He advised immediate shifting of the patient to a reputed hospital in Calcutta. The patient was taken to Calcutta and admitted to SSKM Hospital for treatment. Later she expired there on 31.8.1993. The learned Counsel appearing for the opposite parties has drawn our attention to the death certificate wherefrom it appears that the death occurred due to brain stem infraction. It may be mentioned that the trouble started after the operation was done and one appendix was removed.5. According to the complainant the cerebral attack occurred due to careless/negligent operation by the doctor. But there is no expert evidence to establish the fact that the operation was the proximate cause of the cerebral attack. In the petition of complainant it has been alleged that because of wrong application of anaesthesia the patient did not regain consciousness, and ultimately died. Here again there is no tangible evidence to establish fact. The learned Counsel for the opposite party-1 has drawn our attention to noting in the bedhead ticket dated 4.8.1993 to show that one of the doctors had noticed marked improvement in the condition of the patient while she was under treatment at SSKM Hospital. The learned Counsel of the opposite party has also drawn attention to counter affidavit filed by the complainant wherein it has been stated in paragraph 2 thereof that doctors H.K. Mitra and Amit Kr. Mukherjee are the owners of the nursing home (opposite party-3) whereas the stand taken in the complaint petition was that the opposite parties-1 and 2 are the owners of the said nursing home. Anyway these are not very much relevant for the purpose of this case. The question that arises for consideration is whether there was any deficiency in service on the part of the doctors. As indicated earlier there is no satisfactory evidence to establish the allegation against the doctors. This being the position we cannot but reject the claim.In view of the aforesaid, the case deserves to be dismissed which we hereby do.Ordered that the case be and the same is hereby dismissed on contest.Complaint dismissed.

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