A man has tried to sue a Melbourne hospital for $1 billion after he watched his wife’s c-section, claiming the procedure caused a “psychotic illness”.
Anil Koppula’s wife delivered a healthy baby via cesarean section at the Royal Women’s Hospital on January 20, 2018.
Koppula said he was “encouraged” or “permitted” to observe the delivery.
During the birth, he did so and saw his wife’s organs and blood, which he says caused the onset of a psychotic illness.
Years after the birth, he lodged a claim in the Supreme Court of Victoria, alleging the hospital breached its duty of care it owed to him and was liable to pay him damages.
Koppula, who represented himself during proceedings, assessed his damages for psychological injury at $1 billion.
The Royal Women’s Hospital admitted it owed him a duty of care but denied that it breached it.
It also rejected claims that he suffered any injury.
In a judgement handed down on Monday, Justice James Gorton dismissed the claim, labelling it an “abuse of process”.
Koppula had submitted to the court the illness had led to the “breakdown of his marriage”.
According to the judgement, the law does not allow a person to recover damages for non-economic loss unless their injury is a “significant injury”.
Koppula underwent a medical examination, with a panel determining that “‘the degree of psychiatric impairment resulting from the injury to the claimant alleged in the claim does not satisfy the threshold level’.”
He disagreed with the panel’s finding, but did not apply for a review of the determination.
The hospital then applied to have the proceedings dismissed.
“I am therefore satisfied that the legal effect of the Medical Panel’s determination is that Mr Koppula is simply unable, as a matter of law, to recover damages for non-economic loss,” Justice Gorton said.