BELIZE CITY–Financial Secretary Joseph Waight told Amandala today that the Government of Belize via the Ministry of Finance is making an initial payment towards the $2 million which the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) had awarded back in April to Janae Matute and her mother, Georgia Matute, in an unprecedented medical malpractice suit against the Government of Belize and a former public sector doctor, Raju Meenavalli.
Waight told us that the attorney for the Matutes, Fred Lumor, SC, has accepted the Government’s offer to pay about 5% of the total award as well as legal fees, and Waight said that he is confident that the payment will be made, if not by this Friday, January 2, no later than Monday, January 5.
“Thereafter, we hope to agree on a payment schedule which would reflect the lifetime needs of the young lady,” Waight said.
Because Georgia Matute’s doctor miscalculated her due date, she suffered from birth complications during delivery, and Janae consequently developed cerebral palsy—a condition which, among other things, results in impaired muscle coordination.
According to the Financial Secretary, Nigel Hawke of the Office of the Solicitor General has been speaking with Lumor about the Government’s payment offer, as well as a schedule for future installment payments to begin in early 2015.
“Nigel Hawke will speak with [Mr. Lumor] and will work out a payment schedule. We would abide by it right away,” the Financial Secretary told us.
“I know the people have been waiting for a long time. Really, it’s the biggest award we [the Government] have seen of this type,” said Waight.