Reddy’s patients plan to appeal
Patients whose medical files were seized during police raids on Ewart Brown's medical clinics are likely to appeal a judge's decision to remove two lawyers from the case.
Mark Pettingill and Victoria Greening, of Chancery Legal, were barred from representing 150 patients of Bermuda Healthcare Services in Paget and the Brown-Darrell Clinic in Smith's by Assistant Justice Kiernan Bell, in a May 2 judgment.
The judge agreed with lawyers for Bermuda Police Service that Mr Pettingill, a former Attorney-General, and Ms Greening, a former Crown prosecutor, had a conflict of interest because they accessed confidential information about a long-running police investigation into Dr Brown while in their previous roles.
Mr Pettingill told The Royal Gazette yesterday he had spoken with several patients who indicated they wanted to appeal the judge's decision.
“Having been contacted by a few patients, they are certainly wanting us to remain on the case and are hopeful we will appeal,” he said. “We are very disappointed for our clients who we have worked with for some time.”
Dr Brown, a former premier, expressed “shock” at the judge's decision in a statement issued yesterday.
He said: “We will appeal this surprising decision. Our fight will continue as long as our enemies are committed to the destruction of my business and the assassination of my character.”
Chancery Legal's clients were among 265 patients whose health records were seized during police raids on Dr Brown's two medical facilities in February 2017. The raids were part of an ongoing investigation by police into allegations that the clinics ordered unnecessary diagnostic imaging scans to boost profits.
Mahesh Reddy, medical director at Bermuda Healthcare Services, contested the seizures in a series of closed court hearings and the medical files were sealed on the orders of a judge.
The patients intervened in the civil proceedings brought against Bermuda Police Service by Dr Reddy and the clinics in an attempt to ensure their files were not accessed by the police.
In her judgment, Mrs Justice Bell said: “I find Chancery Legal, through Mr Pettingill and Ms Greening, have received confidential and relevant information of the [Commissioner of Police] and the BPS attributable to their lawyer/client relationship, arising from their positions as Attorney-General and Crown counsel.
“I am not satisfied that there is no risk of disclosure of this confidential and privileged information and any disclosure would be adverse to the interests of the [Commissioner] and the BPS. In the circumstances, Chancery Legal is restrained from acting for the ... patients.”
Dr Brown said: “The decision to remove lawyers Mark Pettingill and Victoria Greening from their roles as advocates for the patients has come as a shock.
“Chancery Legal, beginning with the late Shawn Crockwell, has represented our patients for more than two years. The police did not raise the issue of conflict until Chancery Law questioned their integrity.
“We are surprised that the judge considered [there] to be ‘conflicts' justifying the removal of the patients' lawyers — situations which are commonplace in Bermuda.”
Dr Reddy and the clinics are represented by Delroy Duncan, of Trott and Duncan law firm.
Jerome Lynch QC, of Trott and Duncan, has represented the patients, alongside Mr Pettingill and Ms Greening.
Dr Brown said it was true that Mr Lynch remained on the case, adding: “But he has always taken instructions from Pettingill and Greening.”
He said: “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”
Dr Brown and Dr Reddy have denied any wrongdoing in relation to the alleged over-scanning of patients and have not been charged with any offences.
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