INR twenty lakh fined for a ‘technical glitch’

  • Posted on: January 25, 2024

A baby girl was delivered in the hospital. While the mother was discharged, the newborn was admitted to the neonatal unit for observation. She too was discharged after about a fortnight with an advice to follow up with report of Alpha Glucosidase test. 

The parents visited a reputed path lab for the test.

Days went by but there was no proper response from the lab regarding test result. Fed up running from pillar to post, the father called lab’s customer care number after a week – to his utter shock and surprise, he was asked to repeat the test.

The child died after three days.

Path lab was sued by the very upset and angry parents. The response from path lab seemed to be quite indifferent.

It was stated that the newborn’s blood could not be tested due to a technical glitch, and the father was informed about it; a full refund was offered. It was further stated that the child was born with Pompe disease – a congenital disorder – which was the cause of her death, a fact that was concealed by the father.

The Commission was unimpressed with the statements, as it observed the following:

“The report of blood sample was expected within 4-5 days, but even after the said period it was not made available and therefore, the insensitivity and negligence on part of the lab starts. The lab had all along stated that technical glitch was the reason for non-availability of report but, apart from the bald statement, there is no evidence forthcoming to support of the contention. On the other hand, the newborn’s condition was also serious in nature as pointed out by the lab itself. Therefore, they cannot blame the father for non-disclosure of disease, as the issue was non-delivery of the report. Does it mean, had the disease made known, the lab, would have shown extra effort to deliver the report, thereby indicating, that negligence was done, for this reason?”

Questioning the intention of the path lab, Commission held it negligent and ordered to pay twenty lakh rupees compensation.

Source : Order pronounced by West Bengal Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 3rd July, 2023.