Hearing in Lahey case to go ahead

  • David Burt, the Premier

    David Burt, the Premier

The Government is continuing to pursue its lawsuit against the Lahey Clinic, according to a court submission filed by its lawyers this week.

The claim, for unspecified damages, alleges “corrupt enterprises” between the Massachusetts-based teaching hospital and former premier Ewart Brown.

It was filed in a Massachusetts federal court in February last year, when the One Bermuda Alliance was in power, and was expected to be dropped after the Progressive Labour Party’s election win last summer.

But on Monday, Boston law firm Cooley LLP, representing the Government of Bermuda, made a fresh submission opposing an attempt by Lahey to have the case dismissed.

The submission calls on the court to deny Lahey’s motion to dismiss. It repeats an allegation that “Lahey’s continuous and systematic illegal activities ... caused substantial harm to Bermuda’s business and property interests in the United States over a 20-year period”.

Judge Indira Talwani will hear arguments for and against the motion to dismiss at a hearing in the District Court of Massachusetts on Wednesday.

The submission made by the Government on Monday contradicts a legal brief submitted last May by 11 past and present parliamentarians in support of Lahey’s motion to have the complaint dismissed.

David Burt, now the Premier and then the Opposition leader, was a signatory to that legal brief. The brief described the lawsuit as “politically motivated” and a “personal vendetta against the PLP and Dr Brown, as one of its former and influential leaders”.

Kim Wilson and Walter Roban, both now Cabinet ministers, as well as PLP MPs Wayne Furbert, Kim Swan, Michael Scott and Zane DeSilva also signed the legal brief.

Mr DeSilva left Cabinet this week because of the “conflict” created by his close friendship with Dr Brown.

The Lahey Clinic and Dr Brown deny the allegations in the Government’s lawsuit.

The Royal Gazette approached Mr Burt for comment and asked the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Government’s Boston-based lawyers for an update on the case.

No responses were received by press time.

UPDATE: this story has been amended to reflect that PLP MP Derrick Burgess was not one of the signatories on the legal brief submitted in May

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Published Jan 25, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 25, 2018 at 5:50 pm)

Hearing in Lahey case to go ahead

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