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Gulf View blocked from removing itself from lawsuit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Karen Tesheira

Gulf View Medical, the private health facility that is being sued by former finance minister Karen Tesheira, was blocked on Monday from removing itself from the medical negligence lawsuit, as well as being denied leave to apply to the Privy Council to appeal the court’s decision. Before appellant judges Allan Mendonca, Gregory Smith and Maureen Rajnauth-Lee, Gulf View, which was represented by attorney Kemrajh Harrikissoon, was ordered to pay the cost of Tesheira’s legal team after being denied the appeal.



It was Harrikissoon’s claim that after surgeon Dr Lester Goetz, one of two doctors listed in Tesheira’s lawsuit, opted to settle the claim against him in September, 2012, his client should have been exempted. He argued that the admission of one party absolved the others, namely his client, of any guilt. Harrikissoon submitted that authorities are clear that there could not be any appropriation of debt in that if one party assumed responsibility, then other named parties were automatically absolved from any and all wrongdoing. 


He argued that anything to the contrary was not legal and if the judges were minded not to rule in his favour he should be granted leave to appeal to the country’s highest court, the Privy Council. In response, Tesheira’s attorney, Senior Counsel Douglas Mendes, submitted that the application should be refused on the ground that there was no justiciable issue to address. He argued that Goetz’s decision to settle did not exempt Gulf View Medical from any liabilities. 



The case

Tesheira instituted the claim after her 53-year-old husband, Russell Tesheira, died at the centre on April 13, 2004. He was vice-president of sales and agencies administration at insurance company Clico. In May 2012 High Court Judge Vashiest Kokaram dismissed a $20 million lawsuit after Tesheira’s lawyers twice failed to file expert medical evidence, crucial to her case, by the specified dates. Tesheira appealed the decision. 


Before the appeal was heard, Tesheira came to the settlement with Goetz. The matter against the private hospital resumes in June.


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