'Death due to heart attack in normal course not accidental'
New Delhi: A death due to heart attack in the
"normal course" would not fall in the category of an
accidental death, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commission (NCDRC) has said.
"The Acute Myocardial Infarction (heart attack) can be
said to be an accidental death if such an attack takes place
as a result of some external and sudden incident such as
trauma or shock induced by external factors.
"But it cannot certainly be said that a death due to
heart attack in the normal course would fall in the category
of an accidental death," it noted.
The apex consumer body, comprising members B N P Singh
and S K Naik, allowed a petition of SBI Life Insurance
Corporation Ltd challenging an Andhra Pradesh State
Commission's order to pay Rs 5.5 lakh claim to a man, the
nominee of the insured.
Giving relief to the insurance company, the Commission
said the lower consumer forum had taken a "completely
erroneous view" to declare it as a case of an accidental
"No doubt a stroke may occur all of a sudden, without any
prior apprehension or any symptom and perhaps cannot be
foreseen or anticipated," the Commission said.
The insurance company denied the claim of Y Dayamani, the
policy holder, who had died due to heart attack within a month
of the commencement of the policy.
The State Commission, however, had held that in the
absence of any prior treatment for heart ailment, such a
sudden heart attack can very well be said as an accidental
"However, given the medical history of the life-assured
that he was suffering from Diabetes Mellitus for over a period
of five years..., the case of death resulting out of heart
attack, in this case cannot but be held to be a natural
death," the Commission said.