Turkey: Court awards €4,000 to parents after daughter’s fatal tonsil surgery

Parents of a six year old child who died after her tonsils were reoved have been awarded €4,000 by human rights judges who backed their complaint against Turkey.

The applicants, Mehmet Günay and Güllü Günay, are the parents of Nilay Günay, who died of cerebral oedema, some ten days after the surgical removal of the palatine tonsils in Bartın Civil Hospital.

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Mehmet Günay et Güllü Günay v. Turkey (application no. 52797/08) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial within a reasonable time) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The case concerned allegations of medical negligence in relation to the death of Günay’s daughter after the tonsilectomy.

The court found in particular that a period of some seven years and four months to adjudicate the applicants’ claim for compensation did not satisfy the “reasonable length” requirement.

The court rejected the applicants’ complaint under Article 2 (right to life) of the convention on the grounds that it was manifestly ill-founded.

It noted that the expert medical assessments and the conclusions of the domestic courts, which had been properly reasoned, had ruled out any medical error or negligence. It reiterated that it was not its task to question the findings of expert assessments.

Under  Article 41 (just satisfaction), the court held that Turkey was to pay the applicants jointly 3,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 1,000 in respect of costs and expenses.

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