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Australian Man Fails in $643 Million Lawsuit Against Melbourne Hospital for 'Psychological Damage' Due to Witnessing Wife's C-section

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In an unusual litigation, an Australian resident, Anil Koppula, sought to sue a Melbourne hospital, the Royal Women's Hospital, for the equivalent of $643 million (A$1 billion). The man asserted that he developed a 'psychotic illness' after witnessing his wife's cesarean section back in 2018.

The cesarean operation was successful, though Koppula maintained that the hospital was in breach of its duty of care towards him by allowing him to witness his wife's surgery. According to the report by 7News, Koppula insisted that he was "encouraged" or "permitted" to observe the procedure, an experience he blames for the ensuing mental illness.

Cesarean sections are routine surgical procedures employed when the mother or baby are at risk, enabling the surgeon to deliver the baby "through a cut made in your tummy and womb," says the National Health Service. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicate that in the US alone, cesarean sections accounted for 32.1% of all baby deliveries in 2021.

Several years post-surgery, Koppula decided to file a lawsuit, representing himself in court. He argued that he was due damages for the alleged life-altering psychological trauma he had sustained. His legal claim also emphasized that this "psychotic illness" had facilitated the "breakdown of his marriage".

However, Justice James Gorton dismissed Koppula's suit branding it an "abuse of process". A medical examination of Koppula was part of the trial proceedings, where the panel stated that the purported psychological impact on Koppula was inadequate. The panel's findings were clear: "the degree of psychiatric impairment resulting from the injury to the claimant alleged in the claim does not satisfy the threshold level", as mentioned in the 7News report.

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