Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 14th 2013 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, June 14, 2013
KALIFA SARAH CLYNE
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan says
the victims of the February 24 Sea
Lots accident need a lawyer to take up
the fight so they can be compensated
by the driver s insurance company.
In a telephone interview yesterday,
Khan said people with insurance had a
responsibility for victims whom they
struck, and should be made to com-
"We are doing what we can, but it
cannot be all about the Government,"
"Lawyers tend to run after con-
demned prisoners, why can t they pick
up the fight for these people?"
In an interview yesterday morning,
the corporate secretary of insurance
company Tatil, Ronald Liafang, agreed
that insurance companies could cover
medical costs for accident victims.
"One has to establish that the driver
was responsible for the accident," he
He said if the driver was proven liable
then the company the car was insured
with could compensate victims.
One of the six victims, Abigail Assing,
was treated for ruptured intestines and
abdominal muscles, a broken hip bone,
two broken fingers and a hole in her
side before being released from the Port-
of-Spain General Hospital a week and
two days later.
Assing, who also spoke in an inter-
view yesterday, said she sometimes
experienced unbearable pain when rain
fell, and felt alarmed and panic whenever
she heard the sound of car brakes
Psychologist Varma Deyalsingh said
this could be a sign of post-traumatic
stress disorder or acute stress disorder.
"The sound of the car screeching was
the last thing I remember hearing before
the accident," Assing said.
She undergoes physical therapy at
the hospital twice a week.
The other surviving victims, Amanda
Lalla, 50, and 20-year-old Ryan Ram-
persad, remain warded at Port-of-Spain
Lalla s daughter Devika said her
mother was doing well and although
she was still awaiting surgery, more
than three months after the accident,
she sometimes went home on week-
"Her left hand is broken and she is
waiting to do surgery on her foot," Devi-
Rampersad s mother Pearl James said
when she visited her son yesterday
morning he appeared cleaner than the
"The care he was receiving seems to
have improved today," James said.
"I thought I was getting a scent from
him but when I asked the nurse she
said she didn t know where it was com-
She said her son had oozing bedsores
and a cold.
James and Rampersad s wife Sally
Ann said they had engaged a lawyer
but had been unable to meet with him.
Responding to questions, Khan said
the Health Ministry was doing all it
could for Rampersad, who is 98 per
cent paralysed as a result of the acci-
Rampersad, who was the sole bread-
winner for his wife Sally Ann and their
two children, was reportedly discharged
this week, but Khan s intervention
allowed him to remain at the hospital.
"People who are paralysed are totally
helpless and we are trying to make sure
there is a nurse around to look after
him 24 hours a day," Khan said.
Asked if this would be a problem,
considering complaints of a shortage
of nurses in hospitals, Khan said there
was no "actual shortage" of nurses.
Fuad advises Sea Lots crash victims:
Get a lawyer to take
up the fight for $$
Marijuana with a street value
of $22 million was found in a 40-
foot container at the Port of Port-
of-Spain on Wednesday.
Customs and Excise officers
said they found the compressed
high-grade Jamaican Jam Jam
marijuana in packets hidden in
seven black duffel bags.
A report said around 10 pm the
officers were on patrol when they
first discovered one of the bags in
a secluded location. They then did
a full sweep of the port and found
the other bags of compressed
marijuana inside the container.
About 14 packages of marijuana
were stuffed in each of the Charlie
Sport trolley duffel bags.
Investigations are being done
by the Customs and Excise Divi-
sion, Port Authority and the police
Organised Crime, Narcotics and
Firearms Bureau. Meanwhile, Cen-
tral Division officers also seized
marijuana worth $1.5 million dur-
ing a raid in Chaguanas yester-
The two latest seizures followed
a $12 million drug bust during two
separate exercises in Tobago and
Toco between Tuesday afternoon
$22m in marijuana found at PoS port
In response to
questions from the
chairman of the North
West Regional Health
Haqq said the
responsibility was to
ensure that the
patient received the
appropriate care for
his medical condition.
"Given the nature of
the patient's injuries,
he has been
supported by an
stomach tube for
been placed on a
special mattress to
prevent bedsores and
has received intensive
relatives were being
He said both the
available to respond
to Rampersad's needs.
Victim's wife speaks
After reports of
offers to assist
his wife Sally Ann
said she had received
several phone calls
members of the
However, she said
no one had visited or
given any actual
assistance to her and
her family up to
Accident victim Ryan Rampersad in his hospital bed yesterday.
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