The Supreme Court clarifies whether the hospital should support the mother of the deceased patient


An unusual conclusion was made by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, when it studied the materials of the dispute between the pensioner and the medical institution, in which her son died through the fault of the doctor. The fact is that the patient was keeping an elderly woman. After carefully examining the situation, the Supreme Court clarified whether the hospital should support the mother of the patient who died through the fault of the patient’s doctor.

This story happened in Nizhny Tagil, in one of the city hospitals. There, due to the fault of doctors, the son of a pensioner died, at whose expense she lived. An elderly woman considered that she had the right to demand life-long maintenance from the hospital. But the local courts did not agree with her – they decided that the pensioner can only count on compensation for moral damage. The courts refused to collect monthly payments from the medical facility. And they explained this by the fact that the pensioner has another son. Let him contain it. But the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation decided that the colleagues were wrong and the hospital should be held accountable to the elderly woman.

Our heroine had two sons. One is unemployed and the other is a successful coach. The plaintiff moved to him after retirement. He worked as an instructor in a sports club and received a very decent salary, which was enough for him and his mother for a decent life. One day during training, the coach was injured. He was taken to one of the hospitals in Nizhny Tagil. There it turned out that an urgent operation was needed. It was urgently performed by a surgeon. But he did not put the stitches well and the patient started bleeding. He passed away the next day.

In this death, the investigation saw the doctor’s mistake. The Dzerzhinsky District Court of Nizhny Tagil agreed with the version of the investigation and found the surgeon guilty of causing death by negligence. The doctor received two years of restriction of freedom, and for a year he was forbidden to engage in medical activities. But the appeal released the doctor from punishment in connection with the expiration of the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution.

Almost three years after the unsuccessful operation, the mother of the deceased coach took a lawsuit to court, in which she demanded compensation for moral damage from the hospital in 5 million rubles. And most importantly, she asked to appoint her monthly payments of 55,500 rubles as compensation for the loss of a breadwinner. Separately, she calculated the monthly payments that she was entitled to until the day she went to court. It turned out another 1.6 million rubles. The pensioner explained her material requirements simply – she lived on the support of her son, since she received a small pension. With her son, they were registered in the same apartment, kept a common household, and her son’s earnings were her main source of livelihood.

The defendant admitted the claim. But partially. The hospital agreed to compensate the pensioner for moral damage, but categorically refused to take responsibility for its maintenance. As a result, the district court decided to collect compensation from the hospital in the amount of 3 million rubles. Well, he refused monthly payments.

The doctor performed poorly on the operation. And it is the clinic that should be responsible for inappropriate medical care

This is what the district court wrote in the decision: the fact that the son’s salary was more than the mother’s pension does not mean the full content. The court generally recognized the very fact of dependence unproven. They explained to the plaintiff that she also had a son, so let him support the mother. The appeal and cassation agreed with this conclusion. The pensioner appealed to the Supreme Court.

Here is the main thing that the VS said: the laws do not say what circumstances confirm the presence of a dependent citizen in order to recover compensation for harm in the event of the death of the breadwinner. In our case, the plaintiff told about living together and running a common household. She said that her son’s salary was several times more than her pension. Therefore, the conclusion of the courts about the lack of proof of the dependence of the Armed Forces called incorrect.

The High Court has explained what criteria a dependent must meet. He may have his own income, including a pension, but the funds of the deceased breadwinner were supposed to provide most of his needs. Therefore, the courts had to compare the plaintiff’s personal income with the amount she received from her son. To understand whether the pensioner needed constant help from her deceased son, the Judicial Collegium for Civil Cases of the Armed Forces proposed to clarify several circumstances. Namely: what was the financial situation of the pensioner during the life of her son and at the time of his death. What kind of income did the woman receive and did she have enough of her own money to buy food, medicine, pay utility bills? Did she need financial help from her son? How much did the deceased receive during his lifetime. Did the son help his mother financially and how much? What is the ratio between the help of a son and the mother’s own income. Whether the help was the main and constant source of livelihood for the mother.

The sun criticized the references of local courts that the woman has another son who is obliged to support the mother. In his opinion, local courts could not shift responsibility for the maintenance of the mother to the second child, because he was not to blame for the death of the breadwinner. Therefore, it is the clinic that should be responsible for the poor provision of medical care. According to the Supreme Court, having stated that the mother should support the second son, the courts actually released the hospital from responsibility for the harm caused by her employee. As a result, the court overturned all decisions of local courts.


Source: Российская Газета by rg.ru.

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