Australian man sues hospital for $1 billion after allegedly contracting ‘psychotic illness’ after watching wife’s C-section

News & Politics

An Australian man accused a hospital in Melbourne of causing him to develop a “psychotic illness” after he watched his wife’s cesarean section.

Anil Koppula attempted to sue the Royal Women’s Hospital for allowing him to witness his child’s birth via C-section back in January 2018. As a result, he sued the hospital for A$1 billion, which equals about $643 million in U.S. dollars, according to 7News.

Though the procedure was a success, Koppula claims that the hospital failed in its obligation to care for him by letting him witness the procedure. He claims the hospital “encouraged” and “permitted” him to watch the operation.

Consequently, he said the result of seeing his wife’s organs and blood caused him to have a mental illness. The National Health Service defines a cesarean section as a generally common procedure in which a surgeon delivers a baby “through a cut made in your tummy and womb.”

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A C-section is typically carried out when a natural birth is considered too dangerous and difficult, or if it poses a risk to the mother and child, according to the report. The Centers for Disease Control stated that 32.1% of all baby deliveries in the U.S. in 2021 were by C-section, which was 1,174,545 births.

Koppula apparently filed the lawsuit several years after the operation had taken place. He claimed that he was owed damages because of the life-changing, psychological impairment that he allegedly developed following the procedure.

He went on to suggest that the “psychotic illness” he developed led to a “breakdown of his marriage,” per the report.

Furthermore, Koppula decided to represent himself in court, where Justice James Gorton dismissed the suit and considered the claim an “abuse of process.”

During the trial proceedings, Koppula underwent a psychological evaluation, and it was concluded that the purported illness he suffered was insufficient.

The report said that the findings showed “the degree of psychiatric impairment resulting from the injury to the claimant alleged in the claim does not satisfy the threshold level.”

“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,” Gorton said.

“While rare, some dads still may get a little queasy—even when they can’t see what’s happening,” Karleen Lee, an RN supervisor at Banner Health.

“Remember to not jump up out of your seat too quickly and let the anesthesiologist or surgery team know if you are feeling a little faint. They have ways of helping dads, whether through conversation as a distraction or with an ammonia inhalant or smelling salts to prevent fainting.”

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