Sunday, January 29

A court sentences to compensate with 150,000 euros the widow of a doctor from La Paz who died of COVID

A Madrid court has sentenced an insurer to pay 150,000 euros to the widow of a chief of surgery at La Paz Hospital who died of coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic, considering that he died “by infectious inoculation” during his work, something that was not recognized the insurance company.

The sentence of the Court of First Instance and Instruction number 97 of Madrid, advanced by the newspaper The world and to which Efe has had access, is a pioneer in Spain, according to legal sources, which detail that relatives of other deceased in similar circumstances can benefit from their arguments.

Accident insurance that covered “infectious inoculations”

The magistrate partially upholds the lawsuit filed by the family of the deceased and condemns WR Berkley Europe AG Branch in Spain to pay 150,000 euros, as requested by the plaintiffs, although without adding interest, considering it complicated and controversial to calculate that additional amount.

The deceased is Joaquín Díaz Domínguez, 67, head of the General and Digestive Surgery service at La Paz Hospital, who died on April 18, 2020, infected with the virus after working at the hospital during the first days of the first wave of the pandemic. Last July, his family received the Grand Cross of Civil Merit from the hands of the king at the State ceremony in which the queen and the highest representatives of all the powers of the State were also present.

The doctor had accident insurance that, according to his family, should cover his death, since among the risks included were “infectious inoculations or punctures suffered by professionals in the exercise of their activity, the disease having been suffered as a result of that virus as a professional contingency. On the contrary, the insurer argued that the death was not due to an accident, but that its origin was being in contact with people infected with COVID, and not having suffered an accidental inoculation or puncture.

The court concludes that in the insurance policy that is being sued, “infectious inoculations or punctures suffered by professionals in the exercise of their profession” are defined as accidents, and stresses that according to the Royal Spanish Academy of Language (RAE), inoculating it is “introducing into an organism a substance that contains the germs of a disease”. Based on this definition, he explains that the contagion of the deceased was in the course of his profession, in which he was in contact with other health professionals and with patients, and “was necessarily due to the introduction into his body of aspirated air as a substance, which contained the virus, which is part of the covered risk”.

“Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that this accidental introduction of the virus is considered accidental inoculation, since it was an external event, violent due to its intensity, unexpected and that generated in the insured person an injury due to bilateral pneumonia that caused his death”, Add.

He understands that this fact “is part of the concept of inoculation, since it was possible to inoculate both air with virus, as well as another fluid that contained it, especially on the dates that Dr. Díaz was infected on 3-13-2020, where they were Infections were frequent in hospital centers, where the toilets had defective protective equipment that allowed access to these inoculated fluids to their body. The sentence is not final and can be appealed before the court itself and before the Provincial Court.