Patient, not doctor, at fault in negligence case, finds court

25 October, 2016

Nagpur: The circuit bench of the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission dismissed a complaint alleging medical negligence on part of a senior city-based plastic surgeon. It held that the claims weren't supported by any expert opinion.

The complainant was a man who had suffered a serious road accident in 2001. He was extremely critical having suffered life threatening injuries and multiple facial fractures. After preliminary treatment, he was admitted to Nagpur Nagrik Rugnalaya which roped in the experienced plastic surgeon Dr Vinay Saoji, for treating multiple complex fractures in his jaw.

The patient, however, wasn't satisfied with the results of the surgery and sought compensation, approached the consumer forum, however it rejected his claims. Aggrieved, he challenged the forum's decision in the state commission where he put the blame on Saoji and hospital which had engaged him.



The doctor's lawyer Aakash Gupta argued that it was the patient who was grossly negligent in following the advice of his doctors and was responsible for the unsatisfactory result. It was also contended that this case which had shocked the medical fraternity, has been going on for the last ten years only due to the complainant's lax approach.


The commission after perusal of evidence on record, found reason in the surgeon's defence saying the patient had failed to follow the necessary medical guidelines, as he even removed wires planted to secure his broken jaws apart from failing to maintain proper oral hygiene and recommended liquid diet.


State forum chairman justice Ashok Bhangale and member SB Sawarkar reiterated the apex court's observations regarding negligence saying, "It is our duty and obligation to the civil society to ensure that medical professionals are not unnecessarily harassed or humiliated so that they can perform their professional duties without fear and apprehension," and proceeded to dismiss the patient's plea.

The case had sent the medical fraternity of Nagpur in a tizzy as such malicious allegations could bully any medical professional, as per appellant's lawyer.