“Government House is aware of the action” brought against Lahey, which “is a civil case that will be considered as necessary by the relevant courts,” and the “UK continues to support all efforts to uphold the rule of law in Bermuda and its other Overseas Territories,” Governor John Rankin said today.
This follows after the Bermuda Government filed a lawsuit in the federal court of Massachusetts alleging that Lahey conspired with Dr Brown for a time period spanning nearly two decades.
The legal complaint [PDF] alleges that Lahey conspired with Dr Brown in an “enterprise fueled by Lahey’s payment of bribes to Brown disguised as ‘consulting fees’ in return for which Brown facilitated and ensured that Lahey received preferential treatment” when bidding on healthcare contracts issued by the Government, “obtained privileged access to Bermudian patients” and “made millions of dollars reading and interpreting medically unnecessary MRI and CT scans performed at Brown’s clinics.”
“The enterprise was wildly successful and resulted in the enrichment of both Lahey and Brown at the expense of the Bermudian Government and people,” the lawsuit alleged.
The suit alleges Dr Brown “benefited handsomely”, while “Lahey’s revenues also grew substantially,” with Bermudian public healthcare insurers said to have paid Lahey over $40 million for services they provided in Massachusetts between 2006 and 2016.
The lawsuit is against Lahey Clinic, with Dr Brown cited as a “non-party co-conspirator,” and it states the “practices have resulted in Bermuda’s payment of millions of dollars for medically unnecessary services” and “Bermuda brings this action to recover for injuries suffered.”
A spokesperson for the Boston law firm which is representing the Government told Bernews, “As the lawsuit is claiming, pursuant to the relevant statutes under which the government has sued Lahey, damages equal to three times the alleged losses incurred by the plaintiff Government of Bermuda in an amount to be determined by the court, which may be found to include the entirety of the $40M plus additional amounts.”
AG Response: Government Believes It Has ‘Substantial Claims Against Lahey’
Attorney General Trevor Moniz said the proceedings follow many months of investigations into arrangements between Lahey and Dr. Brown, and the “Government believes it has substantial claims against Lahey.”
Dr Brown Response: ‘Farcical Investigation’ & ‘Untenable, Frivolous Lawsuit’
Dr Ewart Brown called the lawsuit a “litany of lies, designed to convert a fully-vetted contractual agreement into a bribe,” adding that “Bermuda politics is the driving force behind a six-year, multi-million dollar farcical investigation and this untenable, frivolous lawsuit.”
Lahey Response: ‘Concerned Lawsuit Likely Motivated By Internal Island Politics’
A Lahey spokesperson said, “We are concerned that this lawsuit is likely motivated by internal island politics, not business practices,” adding that they have a “25-year track record of providing the highest-quality care to our patients in Bermuda.”
BHeC Response: Health Council Unable To Respond On Active Legal Matter
“The Health Council is unable to respond on an active legal matter,” the Bermuda Health Council said.
Governor Response: UK Continues To Support All Efforts To Uphold The Rule Of Law In Bermuda
In response to queries, Governor John Rankin said, “Government House is aware of the action that has been brought against Lahey Health by the Government of Bermuda.
“This is a civil case that will be considered as necessary by the relevant courts. The UK continues to support all efforts to uphold the rule of law in Bermuda and its other Overseas Territories.”