Bruised ego attacks loose reporting

  • Posted on: July 23, 2020

A typographical mistake is not necessarily negligence. The decision is made on merits of the case. In this instance, a radiologist was held negligent for an innocuous error.

The patient, a practicing advocate, experienced abdominal pain and hence, visited his doctor who advised ultrasonography (USG). Much to the advocate-patient’s surprise, the USG reported details of female organs such as uterus and ovaries. Embarrassingly, some of his colleagues read the report and made a joke or two.

This probably hurt the patient’s ego more than the actual error. He sued the radiologist and claimed compensation.

The radiologist-doctor accepted the mistake and stated that the typist overlooked those words and did not delete them. The final impression in the report was ‘mildly enlarged level (hepatomegaly) and acid gastric disease. No treatment was taken based on the typographical error and no harm was caused. The doctor requested that the complaint should be dismissed.

The Commission observed that the radiologist-doctor had signed the report and at least he could have read it once before handing it over. While the compensation awarded by lower court was halved, the radiologist was held negligent.

Source: Order pronounced by Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi on 11th February, 2020.