In a landmark ruling in a case of medical negligence, the Supreme Court has enhanced the compensation paid to US-based NRI Dr Kunal Saha from Rs 1.73 crore to Rs 5.96 crore for his wife's death in a Kolkata hospital. This is the highest ever damages ever ordered in a medical negligence case in India. The three doctors found guilty of medical negligence will pay Rs 25 lakh to Dr Kunal Saha while the rest is to be paid by Advanced Medicare and Research Institute (AMRI) Hospital where Dr Anuradha Saha, a child psychologist, died in 1998. Dr Balram Prasad and Dr Sukumar Mukherjee will pay Rs 10 lakh each while Dr. Baidyanath Halder will have to pay Rs 5 lakh to Saha within 8 weeks. While enhancing the compensation, the apex court also asked the hospital to pay interest on the amount @ 6 % to Saha. The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in 2011 had awarded Rs 1.73 crore to the doctor.
The judgement has come after a 15-year fight by Dr. Kunal Saha, an Ohio-based AIDS researcher. His wife Dr. Anuradha Saha had died due to medical negligence while on a Kolkata visit. Dr Kunal Saha was holidaying in Kolkata with his wife when she developed Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, which is rare and deadly disease. Anuradha had skin rashes all over and was treated as an outdoor patient initially but later, she was admitted to AMRI, Kolkata, where she was treated for some time. As her condition didn't improve, she was shifted to a Mumbai hospital on an air ambulance. She died following complications from an alleged overdose of steroids that had been administered by the doctors at AMRI, Kolkata.