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Nunez-Tesheira awarded $18m in medical negligence case

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Nunez-Tesheira awarded $18m in medical negligence case

FORMER Government Minister Karen Nunez-Tesheira will receive more than $18 million in compensation from Gulf View Medical Centre and one of its doctors.

This after the Privy Council upheld the ruling of a High Court judge and the local Appeal Court.

The judgement was delivered today.

The local courts had found that the doctor and medical centre were liable, by way of negligence, for the death of Nunez-Tesheira’s husband.

In 2017, the Appeal Court had dismissed the appeals filed by Gulf View and Dr Crisen Jendra Roopchand in which they were seeking to have the court overturn the ruling of Vasheist Kokaram which was delivered in March 2015.

Justice Kokaram had found that, Nunez-Tesheira, a former finance minister under the People’s National Movement (PNM), should be awarded the multi-million dollar payment following the death of her husband, former CLICO insurance executive Russell Tesheira, at the hospital after an operation for transurethral resectioning of the prostate (TURP).

Kokaram had found that the sum of just over $18 million should be awarded.

However, the medical centre and doctor appealed the ruling to the Privy Council, which dismissed the grounds of the appeal in a 33 page judgment.

The Facts

On 13 April 2004, Russell Tesheira was admitted to the private hospital in Gulf View La Romaine, Trinidad, for a type of elective surgery known as a trans-urethral resection of the prostate (“TURP”).

The procedure was to be carried out by the surgeon, Dr Lester Goetz, whom the deceased had previously consulted.

The procedure is well-known to carry with it a high risk of post-operative bleeding. The deceased was a private patient of the surgeon, who frequently carried out surgery at the hospital.

Dr Crisen Jendra Roopchand was the anaesthetist for the procedure. The hospital did not employ either the surgeon or Roopchand.

The TURP having been completed by about 1.10pm on 13 April 2004, Tesheira was taken from the operating theatre to a recovery room where nurses noted that his urine was heavily bloodstained.

The bleeding could not be contained and at about 3.30pm the deceased was taken back to the operating theatre where the surgeon and the Roopchand (latterly assisted by other doctors) attempted various medical and surgical procedures to try to stop the bleeding. After many hours the bleeding was eventually brought under control, but too late to save the deceased’s life. He died on the operating table at 11.30pm while still under general anaesthetic. The cause of death was certified to be “irreversible shock with DIC 5 (disseminated intravascular coagulation)”.

He was 54 years old.

Trinidad Express Newspaper

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