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Sunday 22 October 2017
Crime and Court

Cancer death trial continues

Widow of businessman Ricardo “Smokey” McKenzie yesterday testified that she spent US$567,000 on her husband’s medical care in the United States.

McKenzie died in December 2010 and his wife Lisa has filed a medical negligence case against the Brian Lara Cancer Treatment Centre (BLCTC), for medical expenses and $16 million for loss of earnings. Doctors who treated McKenzie in the US have concluded he died as a result of radiation necrosis caused by a radiation overdose.

McKenzie was being treated for brain cancer. Justice Mira Dean-Armorer is presiding over the trial in the Port of Spain High Court. Lisa McKenzie was questioned extensively by BLCTC’s lead counsel Neil Bisnath who went through each bill and invoice attached to her claim.

Bisnath suggested that none of the receipts presented in the claim show Mrs McKenzie paid the bills. He pointed out that the bills showed they were paid by health insurance policies. She insisted the expenses were not covered by the insurance policies and were paid for by funds she received after she took out a second mortgage on her home.

McKenzie also admitted that after her husband’s death, she took over co-ownership of the Smokey and Bunty Bar in St James and received his share of the profits. The only time the establishment was closed for business was in May 2015, when it was damaged by a fire and took six months to relocate.

The trial continues this morning, when another of McKenzie’s foreign medical experts is expected to testify from the US, via video conferencing. McKenzie, 55, co-owner of Smokey and Bunty Sports Bar in St James, died on December 21, 2010, at the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

His wife is claiming gross medical negligence, bribery and fraud by Medcorp Ltd and the Cancer Centre of the Caribbean Ltd, operators of BLCTC. The BLCTC has not accepted any blame for McKenzie’s death and disputes any negligence on its part.

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