No justice for ‘Lucky Thomas’ after 26 years
Complaints about sloth in Barbados’ judicial processes have reached a new low.
Twenty-six years after sustaining a career-ending injury, retired police constable Hadley Thomas is still waiting on compensation from the Government.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY the frustrated 63-year-old said despite a settlement having reportedly being reached in the case, he was yet to receive any monetary redress from Government.
Thomas, who now walks with the aid of crutches, related that on October 10, 1989, he went to work at Central Police Station where he was stationed at the Criminal Records Office.
The former scenes of crime officer stated he subsequently pushed a heavy entrance door to the department and it came completely off, dropped and punctured his left foot.
“Apparently work was being done on the door during the day by a carpenter or someone and had not been completed and it was just propped in place without hinges. There was no sign or anything to indicate what the situation was and I attempted to use the door as I was accustomed doing whenever I go to work,” Thomas said.
What followed has been a horror story for the former detective, ironically nicknamed “Lucky Thomas”.
The incident resulted in a hairline fracture, trombosis of the leg and damaged circulation. His foot was placed in a cast over a two-year period.
Thomas said his attorney-at-law David Simmons, later Chief Justice Sir David, filed a lawsuit on his behalf against the office of the Commissioner of Police and the Government in 1990.
During this period he continued to receive medical attention for the injury at his expense.
Thomas was subsequently forced to retire from the Royal Barbados Police Force on medical grounds as his injury did not improve.
He later travelled to the United States where he sought further medical assistance for his deteriorating condition.
He came under the care of specialist Dr Joseph Sciortino in Brooklyn, New York, who in a 2004 report, wrote: “The patient continues to have intermittent claudication and pain. The patient has developed a causalgia which is permanent in nature. The patient has been controlled with intermittent visits to myself for pain medication and therapy. He understands that this is a permanent condition which will deteriorate overtime as he ages. The patient continues to wear a vascular stocking and take different pain medications. The patient continues to be under my medical care and has a permanent disability and injury.”
Thomas, who now resides in the United States, told Barbados TODAY that in the intervening years he was informed that Government had come to a settlement in the matter.
Following Sir David’s assumption of higher office, the case was passed on to another attorney; now a High Court judge. Attempts to reach that judge over the past two days have not been successful.
However, to date, Thomas has received no compensation and continues to receive treatment for his condition.
Efforts to reach Attorney-General Adriel Brathwaite on the matter today were unsuccessful. However, an official of his office indicated that if liability had been accepted and the matter settled, all answers related to monetary compensation, if awarded, would have to be provided by Thomas’ attorney.