No evidence to prove lung cancer caused by smoking addiction: Court

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India: A consumer court has ordered an insurance company to reimburse the amount of expenditure on medical treatment for lung cancer after the insurer refused to pay the claim saying the patient was addicted to smoking, which caused the disease.

The court said there was no evidence to prove that the patient suffered from lung cancer due to his addiction to smoking, apart from the mention of “addiction smoking” on the treatment papers, which, it said, cannot form the basis for the insurer to reject his claim. It also said that people who do not smoke also suffer from lung cancer.

The insurance company had rejected the claim of Rs 93,297 incurred by policyholder Alok Kumar Banerjee on the treatment of his “adenocarcinoma of the lung” or lung cancer, at a private hospital, on the ground that he was addicted to smoking as mentioned on his treatment papers.

Banerjee’s wife, Smita, challenged this in the Ahmedabad Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission together with Consumer Education and Research Centre.

The court ordered the insurance company to pay Rs 93,297 as a claim with 7 per cent interest from the date of application on August 2, 2016. Further, the insurer will pay Rs 3,000 for mental torture and Rs 2,000 towards cost of litigation within 30 days, it said.

 

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