City lab to pay Rs 2.05L for wrongly diagnosing youth as HIV+
New Delhi: A city-based diagnostic clinic has been ordered by a consumer forum here to pay Rs 2.05 lakh as damages to a 25-year-old youth for wrongly diagnosing him as HIV-positive and depriving him of an employment opportunity abroad.
The South West District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ticked off Paramount Diagnostic Centre saying that it was "not only negligent but also rash" in declaring Delhi resident Mohd Dilshad unfit instead of confirming its report through fresh tests.
"If the test conducted by the opposite party (Paramount) had to be re-run after four to six weeks to confirm it then the lab could not have reported him unfit on the basis of their (initial) findings... Their haste in declaring him unfit immediately after the test is not only negligent but also rash on their part," the bench presided by Narendra Kumar said.
The forum also noted that Paramount's report had been proved "false" by all subsequent tests including one by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) which was conducted within two weeks of the "faulty" report.
"This faulty report resulted in deprivation of employment to complainant who was a young job seeker of 25 years of age," it said and directed the clinic to pay Dilshad Rs two lakh as compensation for loss of job and reputation along with Rs 5,000 as litigation cost.
Dilshad in his plea had said that he was required to undergo a fitness test after clearing his interview for the job of electrician in a Saudi Arabian company and as per his employer's directions he had visited the diagnostic centre on October 4, 2010 for undergoing the fitness test.
The clinic in its report said he had tested positive for HIV I and II and declared him unfit for the job, Dilshad said adding that when he got his blood tested at four other labs, including AIIMS, the results came back negative for HIV.
The lab in its defence has said it was going to hold the tests again after four to six weeks to confirm the results and had followed the proper procedures for conducting such tests.
The forum, however, rejected the contention saying the defence taken does not mitigate the lab's liability.