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Brown sues AG over Lahey case

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A former premier has launched a legal action against the Office of the Attorney-General over allegations of corruption.

Ewart Brown claimed that the Attorney-General - then Trevor Moniz - accused him and his two clinics of illegal behaviour in their dealings with the US-based Lahey Clinic over the course of 2017.

The writ, published on the Offshore Alert website, said: “Each of the said statements are wholly untrue and highly aspersive and each constitutes a grave libel upon each of the plaintiffs.

“The widespread and enduring effects of these false statements have caused consequential injury to Dr Brown’s personal and professional reputation as well as the plaintiffs’ individual and collective business relationships.”

The documents said Dr Brown wanted damages - actual, presumed and punitive - for libel, malicious falsehood and financial loss intentionally caused.

Dr Brown, a Progressive Labour Party premier, also asked for a declaration from the courts that Mr Moniz acted beyond his powers as Attorney-General, and that he “performed deliberate and malicious misfeasance in public office by abusing the power that he held”.

The writ, dated December 20 last year, claimed that Mr Moniz, as the One Bermuda Alliance attorney-general, also released a series of documents that attacked Dr Brown, and his clinics - Bermuda Healthcare Services in Paget and the Brown-Darrell Clinic in Smith’s.

The document alleged that the “carefully planned and timed documents” maliciously libelled Dr Brown by claiming that he and his clinics received improper payments from the Lahey Clinic.

The writ said it had been alleged also that Dr Brown had used his position as a government minister to promote Lahey’s interests in Bermuda and had been given “bribes disguised as consulting fees”.

The document added: “The defendant further libelled the plaintiffs by averring that BHS and BDC, under the direction of Dr Brown, conducted ‘excessive, medically unnecessary and frankly dangerous scans’, thereby increasing payments received from health insurers.

“The defendant then maliciously and dishonestly alleged Dr Brown paid LCI and/or LCHI a portion of the reimbursement for reading each scan, resulting in the enrichment of LCI and/or LCHI in the millions of dollars.” The writ added that the released documents characterised Dr Brown as corrupt and labelled him a racketeer and conspirator.

Dr Brown was named as a “non-party co-conspirator” in a 2017 lawsuit brought by the former OBA government against the Lahey Clinic in the United States

The legal action in Boston against Lahey Health alleged there was a conspiracy between the health provider and Dr Brown to conduct excessive medical scans.

Both Dr Brown and the Lahey Clinic denied the allegations.

The case was dismissed by Judge Indira Talwani of the US District Court in March 2018 because Bermuda had not shown that it suffered any injuries in the US.

But a police investigation into allegations of unnecessary medical scans in Bermuda continued.

Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, told MPs last July that the total cost to taxpayers of investigations into Dr Brown and the Lahey Hospital and Medical Centre in Boston was more than $6 million.

It is /The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.

Legal action: Ewart Brown (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Former AG: Trevor Moniz (File photo)