PAULA MAPP JOSEPH, HUGH JOSEPH V THE MINISTER OF HEALTH, NORTH WEST HEALTH AUTHORITY HCA No. 2405 of 2002

6.Name of Case: Paula Mapp Joseph; Hugh Joseph v The Minister of Health; North West Regional Health Authority; The Attorney General of
Trinidad and Tobago HCA No. 2405 of 2002

Type of Medical Negligence: Misdiagnosis

Date of Judgment:                      11th May, 2007
Presiding Judge:                          Justice Prakash Moosai

CASE SUMMARY:nu309005

The main issue to be determined in this matter was what award should be made to the Plaintiff since the parties were unable to agree on the quantum of the ex gratia payment.

Mrs. Mapp-Joseph had a history of chronic pelvic pain and in June 1998 was referred to the Mount Hope Women’s Hospital by her physician, Dr. Afraz Ali. Mrs. Mapp-Joseph attended clinic on diverse days between June 1998 and August 1998.

Dr. Lutchmansingh performed a diagnostic laporoscopy and advised Mrs. Mapp-Joseph that the results revealed infection to her left fallopian tube and recommended removal of same. Dr. Lutchmansingh advised that Mrs. Mapp-Joseph have children immediately because the infection would spread to her womb which would have to be removed as a consequence. Mrs. Mapp- Joseph continued to experience chronic pelvic pain and was advised by Dr. Lutchmansingh to remove her fallopian tubes and he also recommended that Mrs. Mapp- Joseph’s entire womb be removed because the womb had no use without the fallopian tubes. Mrs. Mapp-Joseph continued to experience chronic pelvic pain and upon being attended to by Dr. Ronald Knowles, she was informed that the histology test of the excised fallopian tubes were perfectly normal.

HELD:

Mrs. Mapp-Joseph’s wrong diagnosis which resulted in her becoming infertile along with the wrongful deprivation of the power to procreate is capable of having catastrophic effects on her psyche. The Court also considered that the removal of her fallopian tubes resulted in abdominal scarring. The Courts ought therefore to accord an appropriate weight for so serious an injury when caused by the negligence of others.

General damages of $300,000.00 awarded with interest and the agreed special damages of $1,712.50 with interest

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