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Tuesday 17 October 2017
Crime and Court

Court case over Smokey’s death

Attorneys representing Medcorp, operators of the the Brian Lara Cancer Treatment Centre, have begun their challenge of evidence presented by the family of Ricardo “Smokey” McKenzie, who has taken the medical institution to court over his death from a suspected deadly overdose of radiation to his brain.

The trial into the multi-million-dollar lawsuit began yesterday before Justice Mira Dean-Armorer in the Port of Spain High Court when neurosurgeon Dr Roberto Heros of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, testified. Heros treated McKenzie before his death in December 2010 and concluded that he died as a result of radiation necrosis caused by a radiation overdose.

McKenzie was being treated for brain cancer. Heros said the businessman’s case was the ‘worst’ he encountered in his 40 year career. Heros was questioned extensively by Medcorp attorney Ravi Nanga about five operations performed on McKenzie to ease swelling to the brain before he died.

Nanga asserted that Heros and his team failed to produce its pathology reports, which allegedly proves matter removed from McKenzie’s brain was consistent with radiation necrosis. “Each time there was radiation necrosis and it was supported by pathologist’s reports. I don’t lie,” Heros said.

He could not say why the reports were not provided and also admitted there were several several errors in the hospital’s post-operative reports.

Heros maintained the errors were administrative not medical and did not affect his final opinion about McKenzie’s death. He also denied that death was due to an infection developed at the hospital.

“The primary cause of death was radiation necrosis which caused the other problems,” Heros said. The trial continues this morning, when McKenzie’s widow Lisa is expected to testify. McKenzie, 55, co-owner of Smokey and Bunty Sports Bar in St James, died on December 21, 2010, at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

His family is claiming gross medical negligence, bribery and fraud by Medcorp Ltd and the Cancer Centre of the Caribbean Ltd. Medcorp which has been slapped with a $20 million lawsuit is not accepting blame and disputes any negligence on its part.

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