Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Was the money paid? - HIV-infected nurse yet to receive funds; law firm promises she will receive 'millions' by Monday

Published:Saturday | October 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer

Up to press time yesterday, Lydia James*, the nurse who was infected with HIV while working at a hospital in central Jamaica over a decade ago, stated that she was yet to receive any compensation.

However, the guarantee coming from Dixon and Associates Legal Practice, the law firm representing James, is that "millions" were deposited to her account on Friday afternoon, and the sum will be reflected no later than Monday.

"The firm can confirm that millions have been paid to Ms James today (Friday) between 3:30 and 4 p.m. before end of bank day," the firm told The Gleaner late yesterday evening.

The revelation comes after The Gleaner led with a story yesterday which disclosed that the Ministry of Justice had authorised an interim payment of $10 million, which had been sent to an account held by the firm on August 28.

However, almost two months later, the funds had still not been paid over to the nurse and mother of five.

 

WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR HER CAUSE

 

James had taken the Government to court on the matter, and a judgment of $39 million was handed down in April this year but is currently being appealed. The Government, however, authorised an interim payment.

James* told The Gleaner this week that she was previously unaware that any such payment had been made out to her attorney and she was yet to receive any portion of the sum.

Speaking to 'Hotline' host Emily Shields yesterday afternoon, James' attorney and owner of the firm, Khadine Dixon, confirmed that the firm had, in fact, received the $10 million, but there was an issue as a result of an oversight and miscommunication where the transaction was concerned.

 

CHECKS AND BALANCES

 

Furthermore, a release issued on behalf of the firm late yesterday evening stated that it was moving to put more stringent checks and balances in place to eradicate any such recurrence.

"We are empathetic to Ms James' condition, and having represented her for years, we had to ensure this situation was immediately addressed. We also want to make it clear to the public that we stand behind Miss James and will continue to fight for her cause at appeal," read a quote from the statement that was ascribed to Dixon.

"We build the firm on advocating matters for the masses facing injustice that have no voice where it counts, and we will continue to uphold this practice. We also want to extend gratitude to the fast-acting investigative journalists that are there to ensure legal representation in this country is offered at the highest standard."

*Name changed on request.

syranno.baines@gleanerjm.com