In May 2021, a senior citizen ordered take-out at Hotel Empire on Central Street, Bengaluru.
The bill amount was ₹264.60, but the restaurant rounded it off to ₹265– something the man took deep offence to.
He ended up taking the matter to a consumer forum in Bengaluru, where he presented his own case. The man accused the restaurant of stealing from customers and demanded ₹1 in compensation for the “mental shock and agony” suffered by him.
Predictably, the court threw the whole case out in March 2022, adding that any amount over 50 paise can be rounded off to the nearest rupee under government rules.
They further stated that the complainant filed this case for personal publicity and frivolously wasted the court’s valuable time. The man was in turn ordered to pay ₹2000 in compensation to the hotel, and another ₹2,000 in court expenses.
Although this an extreme case of a disgruntled customer, legitimate cases of customers claiming negligence or misconduct on the part of businesses are not uncommon.
And to deal with such lawsuits without going into heavy losses, businesses purchase a Professional Indemnity Insurance policy!
This insurance helps them cover defence expenses when a customer claims wrongdoing or malpractice in the business’s professional services. The business can also cover court-ordered damages with the help of this policy.
Since in this case, the complainant was for his part ordered to pay damages to the hotel, they likely did not need to make use of their Professional Liability coverage.
Learn more: Professional Indemnity Insurance