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Appeals court gives green light for negligence suit against University Hospital

Published:Wednesday | October 7, 2015 | 10:01 PMBarbara Gayle Justice Coordinator

The Court of Appeal has ruled that Hyacinth Matthews, a patient who brought a negligence suit against the Board of the University Hospital of the West Indies, must have her day in court.

The appeals court has found that it was not her fault but instead her lawyer’s fault why her application was struck out by the Supreme Court.

Matthew’s suit was struck out on March 17, 2014 after she did not turn up in court.

She disagreed with the ruling and filed an application in the Supreme Court to have her suit restored.

She argued that it was on the morning when her matter was to be called up in court that her lawyer informed her about the court date.

She claimed that when she turned up at court she was informed that her application was struck out.

In January, Justice David Batts granted her application to restore the matter.

He ruled that the administration of justice would be undermined if Mathews is prevented from having her day in court.

The hospital’s board disagreed with the ruling and took the matter to the Court of Appeal to have Justice Batts’ order set aside.

The appeals court said it agreed with Justice Batt’s finding and turned down the board’s application.

The appeals court says a case management hearing should be held this court term so that an early trial date can be set.

Matthews had filed her negligence suit in 2013 seeking damages from the university hospital.

She claims that she had a surgical procedure at the hospital which has resulted in complications.