The X-ray and ultrasound machines at the Skeldon Hospital have been grounded for the past two months, and several air conditioning units are not operable at that medical facility.This is according to Director of Regional Health Services, Jevaughn Stephens, in response to questions posed by councillors at the Region Six (East Berbice/Corentyne) Regional Democratic Council (RDC) meeting last week.Stephens said an electrical problem has affected the smooth functioning of the Skeldon Hospital. According to him, the Skeldon Hospital, in the past, received power from the Skeldon Sugar Estate to power its heavy-duty equipment, but since the closure of the estate, this is no longer possible.“We had to take off some of the services, because the building used to get power from GuySuCo (Guyana Sugar Corporation) and we are no longer getting power from GuySuCo. We did an assessment and decided to put it on GPL (Guyana Power and Light) grid; that is what is taking the time,” Stephens said.“If we connect the equipment to the grid presently, we will be running a serious risk. Every day, we keep calling GPL,” he explained.The hospital has since been transferring its emergency patients to the New Amsterdam Hospital, situated 50 miles away.Region 6 Chairman David Armogan, in response, said the situation needs to be tackled with more urgency. He said a generator could be rented in the interim to power the heavy-duty equipment.Armogan said he has been receiving numerous reports from persons who had gone to the Skeldon Hospital and could not be treated because the X-ray machine was not working. Many other patients had to be sent to other facilities because doctors could not get an ultrasound.Armogan noted that the situation must be addressed with a great degree of urgency. He has promised the Regional Administration’s intervention to see whether the GPL would give priority to that hospital’s application to be hooked up to its grid.
Question: We expect to buy a house, but the seller is making noises about canceling escrow. What we think is happening is he has someone offering more money. If we have to sue, what prevents him from selling anyway? – W.B., Van Nuys Answer: A lis pendens is a legal form you can record in the county records where the property is situated which gives public notice of your claim to title. The expression lis pendens is Latin for “action pending.” This is a key way to try to prevent the seller from selling out from under you, but it requires that you also file a lawsuit which claims a right to title. Note that there are certain requirements for the lis pendens to be valid. Thus, get thee to a qualified attorney, soonest. Q: My sister’s husband was run over and killed. It is a devastating loss, and she is grief stricken. The lawyer tells her that she can pursue a wrongful death action but is not entitled to “pain and suffering.” This can’t be right, is it? The rationale for the percentage increasing once a trial date has been set is that the lawyer probably will have even more work to do. The bottom line is you are not stuck with one-third or 40 percent once trial is set. I have heard higher, but I have more often heard lower. Keep scouting around, and do not be shy. If you have a strong case, with the potential for significant recovery, it stands to reason that one or more lawyers will be willing to work out an alternative arrangement with you. Ron Sokol is a Manhattan Beach-based attorney with 29 years of experience who has arbitrated and mediated many cases. His column appears each Tuesday. E-mail questions and comments to him at [email protected] This column is a summary of the law, and not a substitute for legal consultation on any particular case.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ – G.M., Hawthorne A: It is true that “pain and suffering” is not supposed to be a component of recoverable damages in a wrongful death action. In fact, that is part of the standard jury instruction. But, your sister can recover damages for “reasonable compensation for the loss of love, companionship, comfort, affection, society, solace or moral support (and any loss of the enjoyment of sexual relations).” How a jury differentiates between that measure of damages and pain and suffering is not something I can quite explain. Other damages also are recoverable in a wrongful death case, such as funeral and burial expenses, and loss of financial support. Q: We are scouting for a good lawyer to handle a matter on a contingent (percentage) basis. So far each one quoted one-third of the recovery, up to 40 percent depending upon certain circumstances (like a trial date being set). Are those industry-wide percentages that simply are not flexible? – K.B., El Segundo A: Those percentages are typical, in my experience, but they are negotiable. In fact, you are supposed to be told they are negotiable. Some lawyers will take less depending upon how hungry they are, or if the case resolves without having to sue, or if the case resolves in a limited period of time (eg., six months).