Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Court: Bain decision won't be delayed

Published:Thursday | January 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Justice Coordinator

The Full Court has promised to hand down its decision without undue delay in the suit brought by Professor Brendan Bain, who is seeking more than $40 million in damages for defamation, arising from the termination of his two-year contract in May last year by the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Bain is suing for breach of contract, breach of constitutional rights and defamation.

In addition to the defamation award, he is seeking nine months' salary for breach of contract, which he said was the time when the contract would end. He said he earned US$12,380 per month. He is also asking the court to award him US$37,000 for the three months' notice of the termination of his contract. He said the university had only given him three weeks notice instead of the three months notice stipulated in the contract.

Bain, who was the director of Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network when he was fired, is asking Justice Lennox Campbell, Justice Paulette Williams and Justice Frank Williams to make substantial awards for constitutional and vindicatory damages.

The university has asked the court to throw out Bain's claim because he had not proved his case.

Attorney-at-law Georgia Gibson Henlin submitted yesterday that the UWI issued three publications in respect of Bain's termination and they attracted significant attention from local and international media.

She argued that Bain, who is a highly respected doctor with years of experience in the treatment and care of HIV, suffered significant damage to his reputation and great distress as a result of the statements.

She argued that his right to due process and natural justice under the Constitution were breached when his two-year contract was terminated by the UWI.

FIRED AFTER REPORT

Bain was fired by the university in May 2014 on the grounds that his constituents had lost confidence in him after he gave an expert report in a court in Belize. A church group opposed to a court case brought by a gay man who was seeking to challenge the country's Buggery Law had asked him to give the report.

Bain is contending that he was fired because of the report.

However, Queen's Counsel Hugh Small had argued that the university had always maintained that Bain was entitled to give the expert testimony.

Gibson Henlin submitted that the sole group claiming to have lost confidence in Bain was one civil society group, but more specifically men who had sex with men. She said the statement made by the university that he had lost the confidence of a significant sector of the community the programme was intended to serve was false.

barbara.gayle@gleanerjm.com