Cancer centre facing $20m. lawsuit

PORT OF SPAIN — The Brian Lara Cancer Treatment Centre has been slapped with a $20 million lawsuit on the eve of the second anniversary of Ricardo Smokey McKenzie’s death from a suspected deadly overdose of radiation to his brain.

Ricardo ‘Smokey’ McKenzie.

To support their claim of gross medical negligence, lawyers for McKenzie’s family intend to prove that Medcorp Limited and the Cancer Centre of the Caribbean Limited, the operators of BLCTC, tried to cover up and conceal the fact that sensitive radiation machines were miscalibrated – exposing patients to a deadly dose instead of treatment.

The attorneys also intend to prove that the medical facility was aware that its equipment, a linear accelerator, needed recalibrating and took no steps to correct the error although the effects could have resulted in fatal injuries.

The medical facility has not accepted any blame for McKenzie’s death and disputes any negligence on its part, according to court documents. However, the company donated US$10,000 towards McKenzie’s foreign medical expenses one month before his death.

McKenzie, 55, the former co-owner of the internationally recognised St. James bar – Smokey and Bunty Sports Bar – died on December 21, 2010, at the Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Florida.

‘Broken man’

He was described by his wife, Lisa Ann McKenzie, 47, as an avid footballer who enjoyed a vibrant social life with this family and friends. His illness, she said, left him “a shadow of his former self and a broken man”, as the business took a nose dive due to his absence.

Contacted yesterday, she described the matter was “sensitive”, saying only, “My children and I would simply like to see justice served”.

They have two daughters – Ornella, 22 and Daniella, 17.

Lisa Ann McKenzie is seeking recovery of funds expended on her husband’s medical treatment amounting to almost $3 million and just over $16m as loss of earnings, had he retired at the age of 65 from his business. He earned $138, 333.33 per month. (Express)

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