Mary O’Rourke QC, David Boyle and Joseph Price appeared before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Lords Reed, Sales, Hamblen, Stephens and Pentland (Scotland)) in the case of Gulf View Medical Centre Limited (1) & Dr Roopchand (2) vs Karen Tesheira (The Executrix of the Estate of Russell Tesheira (deceased) on 13 & 14 July 2022.
In April 2004, Mr Tesheira, a former captain of the Trinidad football team, underwent a TURP procedure under the care of a Dr Goetz at Gulf View Medical Centre in San Fernando, Trinidad. Dr Roopchand was the anaesthetist. Unfortunately, Mr Tesheira developed heavy bleeding after the surgery and, despite the efforts of various doctors, died.
The claim against Dr Goetz having been compromised, the action proceeded against the Medical Centre and Dr Roopchand. At the conclusion of the Claimant’s case, the Defendants argued that there was no case to answer by reason of the nature and strength of the evidence presented.
The High Court rejected that argument and, the Defendants having been put to their election, entered judgment for TTD$18,034,772.33 (approximately £2.25M). The Court of Appeal overturned a number of findings of fact, but concluded that Dr Roopchand had been negligent and that the Medical Centre owed a Non-Delegable Duty to Mr Tesheira.
Representing the First Appellant, Gulf View Medical Centre Limited, in its appeal from the Court of Appeal of Trinidad & Tobago, Miss O’Rourke QC and Mr Boyle each argued a number of points over two days, including the approach to the expert evidence and its quality, procedural unfairness, the effects of an admission in certain respects of the Claimant’s case, the Bolam test, and non-delegable duties under Woodland. Judgment has been reserved.