Lahey lawsuit: residents may have to testify

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  • Longstanding relationship: Ewart Brown and Lahey Clinic done business for more than 20 years (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    Longstanding relationship: Ewart Brown and Lahey Clinic done business for more than 20 years (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Large numbers of Bermuda residents would have to give sworn evidence, and 20 years of records divulged, if the Bermuda Government’s lawsuit against the Lahey Clinic goes ahead, the Massachusetts-based hospital has argued.

Lahey has already filed a motion for the United States courts to dismiss the Government’s sweeping complaint, which alleges that the clinic colluded with Ewart Brown, the former premier, in decades of bribery and medical fraud.

In the meantime, the motion for a stay of discovery, filed on Friday at the Massachusetts district court, would suspend delving into Lahey’s “20-year relationship with Dr Brown, which will be very time-consuming and expensive” — noting that the request for a dismissal “may well dispose of the entire case”.

It also argues that the Government’s complaint, filed in February, came well after the expiry of a four-year statute of limitations, as Dr Brown has not held public office since he stepped down as premier in October 2010.

Complying with discovery would entail delving into e-mails between Lahey and Dr Brown, his clinics, as well as others in Bermuda.

Since the complaint alleges fraud through unnecessary MRI and CT scans at Dr Brown’s local medical practices, the clinic would also have to retrieve “thousands of very old medical records”, the motion argues.

“Lahey will need to take depositions in Bermuda of many local residents, including the doctors there who ordered the scans, and Bermuda healthcare officials, insurance company employees and government employees who have any knowledge regarding the allegations in the complaint,” it continues.

In addition, such an exercise would require Lahey to engage Bermuda counsel.

The motion argues that discovery should be suspended during the “relatively short time” required for the court to rule whether the case itself can proceed.

“If the motion to dismiss is granted, there will be no need for discovery.

“Plaintiff should not be permitted to file a broad but factually deficient complaint and then take discovery in an effort to shore up its allegations.”

To read Lahey’s submissions in full, click on the PDFs under “Related Media”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any slanderous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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