No word yet on what’s next, now that the Court of Appeal has upheld the ban preventing lawyer Mark Pettingill from representing the patients of former Premier Dr Ewart Brown whose medical records were seized by police.
Mr Pettingill and Chancery Legal colleague, Victoria Greening, were ordered off the case by the Supreme Court due to conflicts of interests.
Lawyer Mark Diel, who appeared for the Bermuda Police Service argued that Mr Pettingill and Ms Greening could not represent the patients in the case because they had received confidential information while employed in other positions.
Mr Pettingill, a former Attorney General was alleged to have been briefed on the case while in that position. Ms Greening allegedly received information while she was a Crown counsel.
Both lawyers denied having any confidential information about the case and appealed the Supreme Court’s ruling.
Sir Christopher Clarke, the President of the Court of Appeal, dismissed the appeal and ruled that because of the agreed measures to protect privacy, a refusal of the stay would not threaten patient confidentiality.
The patients represented by Mr Pettingill’s firm were among the 265 patients whose medical records were seized by police during raids at Bermuda Healthcare Services and Brown-Darrell Clinic, as part of the ongoing investigation into allegations that Dr Brown’s clinics ordered unnecessary diagnostic imaging scans to boost profits.
Both Dr Brown and the Medical Director of BHCS, Dr Mahesh Reddy have denied any wrongdoing.
To date, no formal charges have been laid against the former Premier or Dr Reddy.
The Court of Appeal hearing resumed on Wednesday, June 12.
In a statement released that same day, a spokesperson for the patients said: “To find out now that while this was going on and our lawyers had been prevented from representing us, the Police were going through our files.
“Neither the Police nor their lawyers bothered to inform us. This is nothing short of outrageous.
“We think this was deliberate to try to make our appeal to have our files back, worthless.”
The spokesperson added: “I do not understand the twists and turns of what is going on in court, but we, the patients, had taken comfort from the Police’s promise not to review the files until our objections had been finally decided and we were shocked to hear this latest news.
“Who can we trust if we cannot trust the Police Commissioner?
“Who can we trust if we cannot trust the Governor?”
“Clearly they do not care about us or our confidential medical files. We simply do not matter to them.”
Efforts to find out what’s next in this ongoing legal battle for the patients and the two clinics still under investigation by police continue.