WRONGFUL DEATH CASE DRAGS ON

DEPUTY Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington has expressed concern that a private charge against three medical doctors for allegedly causing the unlawful death of a patient, has been dragging on for far too long.

Since July 2013, Lorne Ramsumair filed a private complaint against doctors for allegedly causing the unlawful death of his wife Chrystal Ramsumair-Boodoo, at San Fernando General Hospital. The woman is said to have bled to death after giving birth via caesarean section in 2011. Three surgical operations were done to save her life, but to no avail.

The private complaint hearing came up before Wellington yesterday in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court on what was the ninth occasion.

The Deputy Chief Magistrate questioned attorneys on both sides over the delay. Reappearing in court were consultant gynaecologist Dr Ashmeed Mohammed, Dr Mondira Seenath and Dr Deepavali Ramballack.

Chrystal, 29, of Couva died on March 4, 2011, following which five doctors and five nurses were suspended and a Ministry of Health team ordered to investigate her death.

The doctors were re-instituted and widower Ramsumair in July 9, 2013, filed a private complaint with the Justice of the Peace in the San Fernando Magistrates’ court.

The case alleges that the doctors failed to medically treat Mrs Ramsumair Boodoo and caused her death contrary to Section Six of the Offences against the Persons Act. The three doctors have been appearing in court on each and every occasion the case was called and yesterday, their attorney Saira Lakhan, instructing attorney Jagdeo Singh, told the magistrate that she had communicated on four occasions with DPP Roger Gaspard SC.

This was followed up with letters to the DPP, the attorney said, but a reply is still to be issued by the DPP over a request to have the prosecution of the doctors stopped. The letter questioned Ramsumair’s authority to lay such a charge without producing evidence.

“What is holding back the proceedings? This matter is since July 2013. What if the DPP doesn’t reply. Is Mr Israel Khan in this matter,” Wellington asked.

Attorney Allister Khan who had been appearing on Khan’s behalf, asked the court for leave to withdraw from the case.

Khan is appearing along with attorney Ravi Rajcoomar, for Ramsumair.

After Lakhan reiterated that the preliminary issues raised with the DPP have to be sorted out first, before the case could proceed, Wellington adjourned the case to October 9.

Extracted From: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday Newspaper

By AZARD ALI Tuesday, June 9 2015

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