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Madras HC gives Rs 25,000 compensation to woman bitten by rat in hospital

The Madurai bench of the Madras High court has granted Rs 25,000 compensation to a woman who was bitten by a rat at the Madurai Government Rajaji Medical College premises in 2014.

The woman Muthulakshmi had petitioned the court that she was bitten by the rat on January 23, 2014 when she was admitted to the Government Medical College Madurai and she suffered swelling and pain after it.

The government pleader had objected to the petition citing that the woman had informed of the incident only one week after she was bitten by the rat.

However, Justice C.V. Karthikeyan while hearing the plea on Monday said that he had taken note of the newspaper reports of that day produced by the counsel of the petitioner.

The judge also pointed out that the then medical superintendent had told newspapers that the blockage in the drainage had led to the rat menace.

Justice Karthikeyan while delivering the judgment said, “It may not be proper on the part of this court to rely on newspaper reports, but I hold that it is justifiable on my part to hold that the petitioner had suffered rat bite cannot be brushed under the carpet and flagged as a false statement.

He also said, “If it was false then the hospital authorities would have certainly given a rejoinder to the newspaper items”.

Justice Karthikeyan also opined that the incident was an unforeseen accident and that the compensation is automatically payable. The judge directed the Tamil Nadu health secretary to pay a compensation of Rs 25,000 to the woman and directed the hospital authorities to prevent such menace to the hapless patients in future.

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