There is a fundamental principle in law that states: “When you come to equity, you must come with clean hands.”
Yet, Edward Forh, Representative for District No. 16 of Montserrado County, sued the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, its Chief Medical Officer, Chief Administrator, Head of Internal Medicine and several others for what he called “criminal negligence” that he claimed led to the death of his daughter Nakita on September 27 last year during the height of the Ebola crisis.
Rep. Forh took his daughter Nakita to the JFK on September 26, 2014 when, due to the Ebola epidemic which at that point was claiming hundreds of lives daily, the hospital was not running normally. Several medical practitioners, including two of the JFK’s own senior physicians, Dr. Samuel Brisbane and Dr. Abraham Borbor, as well as several other foreign medical personnel had died from the terrible virus.
The JFK administrators were afraid to lose more of their precious medical personnel, who were woefully inadequate numerically. So the Medical Center decided to go slow. In the face of this deadly fear, they advised Rep. Forh to take his daughter to one of the many Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) around Monrovia. But Forh refused, and decided to take his daughter home.
The following day he returned with his ailing daughter and demanded that the JFK admit her because he was “an honorable man.” The JFK again advised Mr. Forh to take the young woman to an ETU, but he again refused, insisting that the hospital admit his daughter. The seriously ailing Nakita, urgently in need of medical attention, died at the hospital in her father’s arms. Forh promptly filed a lawsuit against the JFK and its most senior officials, seeking US$25 million in damages. He did one thing more: he obtained an accusatory report from a medical doctor whose hands, too, were not clean. Dr. Nyaquoi Kargbo, Registrar General, Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC), had been fired by the JFK for cause. So he already had a grievous vendetta against the JFK administration. Further, his report had already been debunked (discredited) by all of his medical colleagues at JFK, like Dr. Vuyu K. Golakai, Vice President and Dean of A.M. Dogliotti College of Medicine at the University of Liberia (UL). Dr. Golakai discredited Dr.
Kargbo’s report when he (Golakai) was summoned by the court to testify about the document.
But it was that report on which Forh based his case and ran to court in pursuit of US$25 million in damages.
The jury, to their eternal credit, saw through the whole thing; and after several hours of deliberation, came forward with a unanimous verdict of “Not guilty.” The JFK was home free! We understand that Forh and his lawyers are considering an appeal to the Supreme Court. If they so do, it remains to be seen whether the High Court would rule against a unanimous verdict by the Grand Jury.
But who is Representative Forh? Was he not the same one who, few years ago, was found involved in a financial scandal involving County Development Funds for Montserrado County? He had demanded that the Montserrado County Development Funds be shared between himself and the Montserrado Superintendent, Madam Grace Kpahn.
When she expressed fear of how the Minister of Internal Affairs, Blamo Nelson, would react to such a proposition, Forh told her not to worry, for the Minister, too, was waiting for his share. In an expression of reassurance to the Superintendent, Forh told her, “You will chop, I will chop and the Minister will chop.”
Forh, a Roman Catholic, had forgotten what he had learned in Catechism in elementary school. One of the fundamental lessons that Catechism teaches is the three primary properties of the Almighty: God is all wise (all knowing); all powerful; and everywhere.
The lesson here is that the Almighty Heavenly Father was not only there, but was closely listening and watching. Yes, Superintendent Kpahn lost her job because of it, thanks to the most unfortunate acquiescence of the President to the demand of a corrupt House of Representatives that this upright, honest, and patriotic daughter of Montserrado be fired from her job as County Superintendent.
But Forh must have later found out that that was not the end of the story.