Tesheira v Gulf View Medical Centre.
Clinical Negligence/ Fatal Accidents
Mary O'Rourke QC has been given permission to appeal to the Privy Council on clinical negligence case.
It is a clinical negligence case with huge legal implications for the liability of private hospitals when the independent Consultant is negligent. The decision of the Privy Council will apply to all the Commonwealth including the UK.
The issue is the patient had routine urology operation performed in my client’s private hospital by an independent surgeon (not employed by us). The patient bled out and died on the operating table. His widow sued the hospital after her proceedings against the surgeon failed on technical / procedural grounds. We defended on the basis we were not liable for the surgeon who was not our employee – we simply provided nursing services and hotel type services. The Trinidad Court of Appeal found we had a “non-delegable duty” to the patient (unheard of anywhere in the Commonwealth for a private as opposed to NHS hospital) and that we were vicariously liable for the surgeon.
Privy Council will now examine non-delegable duties in healthcare and relationships between private hospitals and surgeons. It will not be heard in Privy Council until next year.