LORNE RAMSOOMAIR V THE SOUTH WEST REGIONAL HEALTH AUTHORITY AND OTHERS HC 1864/2012
12. Name of Case: Lorne Ramsoomair v The South West Regional Health Authority and Dr. Mondria Seenath and Dr. Deepavali Ramballack and Dr. Ashmeed Mohammed HC 1864/2012
Type of Medical Negligence: Hospital Error/ Surgeon’s Error
Date of Judgment: 25th January, 2013
Judge Presiding: The Honourable Mr. Justice Frank Seepersad
The Claimant, the Administrator of the Estate of Chrystal Naveeka Ramsoomair instituted a claim against the first Defendant as the employer of the second, third and fourth Defendants for negligence which resulted in the death of Chrystal Naveeka Ramsoomair.
According to the Claimant the death of his wife was as a result of negligent treatment administered by 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants and the organizational failures of the 1st Defendant.
The first Defendant admitted liability however the second, third and fourth Defendants filed a Notice of Application seeking to strike out the Claimant’s claim or in the alternative that summary judgment for the third Defendant since the Claimant has no claim against the third Defendant and that costs be awarded.
The Claimant alleged among other things that the standard of care taken by the second Defendant was below that expected of a reasonable medical practitioner in the circumstance of the case and amounted gross and/or criminal negligence. Additionally, regarding the first and third Defendants, the Claimant alleged that they breached their duty of care by failing to monitor the deceased’s vital signs until some 2 ½ hours after completion of the first operation. Furthermore, that despite noting a failure to take the patients vitals by the first Defendant, the third Defendant failed to correct the situation as she did not take the vital signs of the deceased.
The admission of liability by the 1st Defendant does not obviate the need for the Court to hear the facts and adjudicate as to whether the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants were negligent and whether they failed to extend to the deceased the duty of care that was to be expected from reasonable medical practitioners. This issue is entirely different from the issue of organization failure as admitted by the 1st Defendant.
It cannot be said that the claimant would be unable to prove the allegations made against the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants should the matter proceed to trial, nor can it be said that the Claimant has no reasonable ground for maintaining an action against the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants or that he has no real prospect of success at trial.
The claimant is therefore not barred from advancing his claim against the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants. The continuation of this action would not be frivolous or vexatious and the process of court would not be misused.
Accordingly the Defendants Notice of Application is dismissed and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Defendants shall pay to the Claimant the cost of this application which said costs shall be assessed in default of agreement.
THE DECISION WAS APPEALED.
Dr. Mondira Seenath; Dr. Deepavali Ramballack and Dr. Ashmeed
Mohammed v Lorne Ramsoomair CA No 24 of 2013
Judges Presiding: Chief Justice Archie; Justice of Appeal Bereaux and Mdm. Justice of
There is no authority that supports the proposition that to continue action against the second to fourth Defendants in these circumstances constitutes an abuse of process.
Appeal dismissed. Appellant to pay costs to the Respondent.