Comatose for 22 years, Spanish man finally gets justice

14th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Spain's Supreme Court on Thursday ordered a clinic to pay 1.075 million euros to the family of a man who slipped into a coma 22 years ago during cosmetic surgery that went wrong.

The insurance company of the Madrid clinic will pay the compensation to the parents of Antonio Meno, 42, who has lived in a vegetative state since a nose operation in 1989.

The court last November ordered the reopening of the highly publicised case following new testimony from a doctor at the clinic.

Meno's parents, both retired bakers, camped outside the justice ministry in Madrid for 16 months along with their son after they were forced to sell their home to pay 400,000 euros ($569,000) in legal costs.

The anaesthetist at Meno's operation has denied accusations of negligence leveled by the family, saying he had choked on his own vomit following the surgery.

A Madrid court convicted the anaesthetist of negligence in 1993, but that decision was later overturned.

But a doctor who was present at the surgery recently came forward to state that the "accident" had taken place during the operation when the anaesthetist was out of the room and Meno's oxygen supply tube was undone.

© 2011 AFP

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