UAE: Dh250,000 compensation for medical error overturned by top court

The patient initially demanded Dh2 million in compensation for the moral and material damages he suffered


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Mon 7 Nov 2022, 7:29 AM

A patient in Abu Dhabi filed a lawsuit against his doctor for making a medical error during his inguinal hernia surgery. His compensation of Dh250,000 was cancelled on appeal.

The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation overturned the rulings by the lower courts which instructed the hospital and the doctor to pay the compensation amount to the patient after the doctor was found guilty of committing a medical error.

Official court documents stated that the man had filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the doctor who operated on him, demanding Dh2 million in compensation for the moral and material damages he suffered.

He explained in his lawsuit that he was physically unwell and was admitted to the hospital for an inguinal hernia surgery. During the operation, the doctor made a medical error which was later proven by the Abu Dhabi Medical Liability Committee report.

Both the Court of First Instance and the Appeals court had earlier ruled that the medical centre, the doctor, and the insurance company jointly pay the patient Dh250,000 in compensation for the damages.

The medical centre and the doctor then appealed the ruling to the Court of Cassation.

In the court, the doctor argued that he had filed a complaint against the decision of the Medical Liability Committee. The complaint had not been resolved until then.

He also said that the medical centre added the insurance company in the lawsuit for a joint ruling. The limits of the insurance liability is up to Dh500,000.

After hearing from all parties the cassation court issued a ruling cancelling earlier decisions by the lower courts.

The judge said in his ruling that the doctor had earlier filed a grievance against the report of the Medical Liability Committee and that the report of the Committee is not final and may not be relied upon in the compensation case until it becomes final.

The judge pointed out that the appeals court was required to halt the case and wait for the decision in order to reject the doctor’s grievance and support the Medical Liability Committee’s report or the cancellation of the report that confirmed the medical error made by the defendants.

The patient was advised to refer his appeal to the competent appellate court for further adjudication.

The patient has been told to pay for the defendants’ legal expenses.


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