The authorities of a cinema hall in Guwahati have been asked to compensate a woman who had to undergo treatment after being bitten by a rat while watching a movie five years ago.
Disposing of her case, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Kamrup, on April 25 directed officials of Guwahati’s Galleria Cinema to pay the woman a total of ₹67,282.48 as reimbursement for her medical expenses, compensation for pain and mental agony, and the cost of proceedings in the case.
The woman, an academic, had approached the consumer’s forum against the cinema hall operators for deficiency in service, after she was bitten on the foot during a movie show.
Apart from the reimbursement of medical expenses, she had sought a total of ₹6,00,000 as compensation for mental agony, pain and suffering.
The case was admitted in March 2019.
In her complaint, the woman said she had gone with her family to watch the 9 p.m. show at Guwahati’s Galleria Cinema on October 20, 2018. She felt something bite her foot after the interval.
“The doctors later confirmed that the complainant was bitten by a rat, not a snake, and gave her anti-rabies and other medicines”Anita VermaComplainant’s lawyer
Immediately, she exited the hall and went to a private hospital nearby after the cinema hall authorities allegedly declined to provide first aid or any other form of assistance.
The hospital kept her under observation as it was not ascertained as to what had caused the bleeding. The complainant said she had to take strong doses of medicines, which affected her efficiency at work.
In her complaint, the woman noted that the movie hall was very unhygienic and there were leftover boxes of popcorn, empty bottles and other waste accumulated behind the seats.
“Galleria Cinema attendants admitted that rats are a menace in the hall. The doctors later confirmed that the complainant was bitten by a rat, not a snake, and gave her anti-rabies and other medicines,” Anita Verma, the complainant’s lawyer, told The Hindu on Wednesday.
“Many halls in Guwahati do not maintain cleanliness and sanitation,” she said.