The clinic is responsible for the mental suffering of cousins 2

The clinic is responsible for the mental suffering of cousins

BGH Verdict

The clinic is responsible for the mental suffering of cousins

Karlsruhe
Patient's health due to treatment mistakes can lead to psychological problems with close relatives. If they are particularly strong, there may be a right to compensation.

According to the Federal Court of Justice, after a physician's mistake, no rules other than after an accident may apply.

According to the Federal Court of Justice, after a physician's mistake, no rules other than after an accident may apply.

Photo: AP

The clinic is responsible for the mental suffering of cousins

People with mental illness due to a close relative's critical health after a treatment failure may be eligible for compensation. The Federal Supreme Court (BGH) in Karlsruhe issued a verdict.

There are no reasons why different rules should apply after a physician's mistake rather than after an accident (Ref. VI ZR 299/17). The woman sued the hospital in Cologne after the complications of her husband after colonoscopy. Her husband was in acute danger for several weeks. That is why she has depression and anxiety. Two reports found errors in treatment in the case. The husband therefore received 90,000 euros from the clinician's insurers.

Recently, the High Regional Court (OLG) in Cologne dismissed the woman's lawsuit. The medical mistake only worsened human health. Experience is a general risk to life.

The BGH Supreme Civil Judges do not accept this. Mental suffering is only health-related injury if it "overcomes the health problems people are usually exposed in the event of death or serious injury to a close relative". In this case, the applicant's complaints reached an exceptional level.

The Higher Regional Court must now again negotiate the case and check whether the condition of the husband is actually a cause of mental illness.

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