Saturday, September 01, 2007

German man loses top of his head in brain operation

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German court has awarded 3,000 euros ($4,100) in damages to a man who had to have the top of his skull replaced with plastic because of a faulty hospital fridge.

Doctors removed the top of the man's head and put it in cold storage while they operated on his brain, the court in the western city of Koblenz said Tuesday.

Because the refrigerator was defective, the section of skull was not kept cool enough and could not be reattached. Doctors replaced the bone with a plastic prosthesis.

The man sought compensation of at least 20,000 euros on the grounds that the prosthesis caused him headaches, affected his balance and made him unduly sensitivity to the weather.

Following consultations with experts, the court found that the operation had caused the man's discomfort, not the loss of the top of his skull.

Compensation of 3,000 euros was "appropriate and sufficient," it said.

"The experts consulted by the court concluded the new skull roof was better than the original," a court spokesman said.

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