Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lawyer challenges summonses

Docs in court over Chrystal’s death


charged: Dr Mondira Seenath —Photos: INNIS FRANCIS

Mark Fraser


Dr Deepavalli Ramballack leave the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court yesterday. —Photos: INNIS FRANCIS

Mark Fraser

THREE doctors yesterday made their first appearance before the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court on private charges brought against them following the 2011 death of  Chrystal Boodoo-Ramsoomair at the San Fernando General Hospital.

Doctors Mondira Seenath, Deepavalli Ramballack and Ashmeed Mohammed appeared before Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington but no charge was read to them as their defence attorney, Jagdeo Singh, requested that it not be done.

Singh, who appeared in the matter along with attorney Saira Lakhan, told the court he will be filing submissions in the matter by the next time the case is called.

These submissions, he said, will include the process by which the summonses were issued on the three doctors, and whether the officer in the matter had the jurisdiction to make the complaint.

Wellington adjourned the case to May 12.

Boodoo-Ramsoomair’s husband, Lorne Ramsoomair, brought private charges last July against Seenath, Ramballack and Mohammed alleging that they “did medically treat or failed to medically treat Chrystal Ramsoomair in such a negligent manner which caused her death”. 

The charges are contrary to Section 6 of the Offences Against the Person Act Chapter 11:08. 

Ramsoomair’s attorney, Allister Khan, was present for the matter yesterday in which attorneys Israel Khan and Ravi Rajcoomar are also involved.

The first time the matter came before the court in July 2013, Wellington was told the doctors had not yet been served. Fresh summonses were issued and the case was adjourned.

Last November, it was again said the three were yet to be served with the summonses and a magistrate ordered that the documents be issued immediately to be served on the doctors.

The magistrate had placed the documents in the care of the summons officer and ordered that they be issued forthwith.

Boodoo-Ramsoomair, 29, died in 2011 following a Caesarean section at San Fernando General Hospital.

The South West Regional Health Authority (SWRHA) has accepted liability for her death but denied that the doctors were negligent.

On January 24 last year, High Court Judge Frank Seepersad ruled that Ramsoomair could take civil action against the doctors.

The doctors appealed but Chief Justice Ivor Archie and Appeal Court Judges Maureen Rajnauth-Lee and Nolan Bereaux agreed with Seepersad’s ruling.