Anand Ramlogan to take on negligence case against Raj-Kumar

THE JUDGMENT of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the Council of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago (MBTT) in the matter involving the death of Narissa Mohamdally may be the basis for futher legal action to be taken by Bernard Mohamdally, husband of the deceased, against Dr Godfrey Raj-kumar, the gynaecologist whose license was revoked by a decision of the Tribunal. The Tribunal, which ordered the revocation of Raj-kumar's license on March 7, after finding him guilty of fraudulently tampering with Narissa Mohamdally's medical records, has in its judgment identified three other issues that "deserve comment and that must be further investigated."

These are:

  • "The issue of whether or not Dr Raj-kumar was negligent in the manner in which he cared for Mrs Mohamdally;
  • Dr Raj-kumar's carrying out of a surgical procedure for which he had not obtained informed consent;
  • and, Dr Raj-kumar's betrayal of the trust which both the patient and her relatives had in him when he reassured them that he would allow Mr Mohamdally to witness the procedure on his wife."

Bernard Mohamdally has hired the services of attorney Anand Ramlogan to address the first of these issues. In a telephone interview with the Express, Ramlogan stated, "There are two outstanding legal avenues that remain to be explored. The first is whether the DPP Geoffrey Henderson will lay criminal charges against Dr Raj-kumar. The second is civil proceedings for monetary compensation arising out of the death of Narissa Mohamdally, which may have been occurred as a result of medical negligence."

Ramlogan, who has been advising Bernard Mohamdally since the death of his wife, will be representing Mohamdally in the proposed negligence action.

"Having regard to the age and professional status of the deceased, the compensation claimed will exceed one million dollars," stated Ramlogan, adding that he intends to file the negligence action against Dr Raj-kumar on Monday.

According to a report from Dr Shaheeba Barrow, the pathologist who performed the autopsy on Narissa Mohamdally at the Port of Spain General Hospital, Mohamdally died of "Acute Ventricular Faliure, Anaemia and D.I.C. [disseminated intra-vascular coagulation] following post operational sepsis."

Barrow played a critical role in the revocation of Raj-kumar's license. As the pathologist on duty at the Port of Spain General Hospital, she performed the autopsy on Narissa Mohamdally. It was while reviewing Mohamdally's hospital medical notes that she noticed the report with which Dr Raj-kumar is alleged to have fraudently tampered.

Barrow wrote the report to the Medical Board stating that "no endometrium was received and there was normal small bowel mucosa only," the report she came across while reviewing the hospital medical notes on Mohamdally stated, "Small endometrial biopsied show mild endometrial hyperplasia. No evidence of cytological attymia or endometritis."

Dr Barrow's letter, which was copied to the Head of the Medical Ethics Committee, Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago, states, "The faxed report which is on the hospital medical files which was purportedly faxed from telephone number 675-2743 on Tuesday 28th October, 2003 at 11.19 a.m. clearly does not reflect the report that was sent to you by the Lab."

Between Mohamdally's death in November 2003 and May 2004, Barrow wrote a series of letters calling for the Medical Board to investigate Raj-kumar's actions. This eventually culminated in the MBTT being brought under judicial review.

Up to yesterday evening, efforts to contact Dr Raj-kumar including a visit to the Lukuni Clinic, Valsayn, where he has practised for several years, yielded no result. When TV6 news contacted Raj-kumar yesterday, he said he intended to respond through his attorneys.

TV6 News stated, "While there are indications that he (Raj-kumar) may challenge the decision of the tribunal, the Medical Board is confident it followed all proper procedure in revoking his license."