The Mount St John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) and three doctors have been sued for negligence in their diagnosis and treatment of Chester Clarke, the man who collapsed and died outside the hospital almost two years ago.
Clarke’s mother, Sonia Williams, who is administrator of his Estate, filed the civil case in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court last month, seeking compensation for loss, damages and incurred expenses.
MSJMC, Dr Carlyn Thomas, Dr Cleofoster Beazer and Dr Thara are named in the claim, a copy of which The Daily OBSERVER obtained.
Clarke, 46, died on June 29, 2009 after being discharged twice by the doctors on that date and the previous day. A post mortem subsequently revealed his death was a result of elevated blood level of the electrolyte potassium, a condition called hyperkalaemia. It was also discovered that he had kidney failure, leptospirosis among other conditions.
The claim filed by attorney-at-law Lawrence Daniels, on behalf of Simmons, alleges that the three “negligently failed to diagnose and treat” Clarke for leptospirosis and discharged him “when it was unsafe to do so and without conducting any test or X-Ray.”
“As a result, the patient died at the gate of the hospital on Monday 29th of June 2009, the very day he was discharged,” the claim reads.
Williams, who lives in Florida, United States, has made nine requests of the court.
They include declarations that her son died as a result of the negligence of the four defendants, that she is entitled to damages, and that she is entitled to reimbursement of $8,000 in funeral expenses; travel expenses of $5,172; court fees of $145; interest; costs; attorney costs; and any other relief as the court sees fit.
Efforts to get comment yesterday from officials at the MSJMC were futile. When Hospital Administrator Gary Thomas was contacted, he directed this newspaper to the marketing and public relations department.
However, Public Relations Officer Salma Crump was said to be out of office until next week. Attempts to reach Chairman of the MSJMC Board, Sam Aymer, were also unsuccessful.
Following Clarke’s death, MSJMC launched an internal investigation and revealed in October 2009 that action was taken against three physicians. However, it is uncertain whether they were the same three who are named in the civil action.
A second probe was conducted by Dr Raphael Evanson, an Antiguan physician who practiced in Canada for several years, but the findings were not made public.