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Air Ambulance Company Ordered to Pay for Negligence in India


It was May 25, 2011, when an air ambulance company in India had blatantly flouted the safety standards and went against the weather forecast to dispatch an air ambulance. It was a single-engine aircraft that was not capable of flying in the night or in adverse weather situations. In fact, it was not built for medical evacuation at all. The result was a tragic crash in a city called Faridabad that took away the lives of one nurse and two doctors on the air ambulance. It has been a long-running case, filed by the family members of these victims. The families have finally seen some justice after all these years.

The Air Ambulance and Insurance Company were Sued

The liability of the air ambulance company in the country was mostly financial according to the law and it was ordered to pay three-quarters of a million Indian Rupees. On the other hand, the insurance that covered the occupants of the air ambulance simply refused to pay up anything saying that they were in no way liable for the mishap. The legal heirs of the victims then took them up in the court. The court has now ordered the insurance company to pay up over 4 million Indian rupees each to the heirs as compensation – a very small amount considering the lives lost.

The Country Must Lay Down Some Stringent Rules

India is a country that has been working towards putting an air ambulance infrastructure in place – one that involves both private and government players. However, with the lack of proper rules in place, it might result in more violations of the safety norms. Unless there are severe consequences in place, the service itself might prove fatal. The current case was tried under a legislation called ‘Carriage by Air’ which was formed in the year 1972. It is perhaps time to revise this legislation now.

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