(DOMINICA NEWS ONLINE) — The Ross University School of Medicine, which departed Dominica recently, is headed for a court battle with landlords in Portsmouth who are now pursuing legal action against it.
This is in addition to a lawsuit against the institution by the government of Dominica.
After a meeting between government officials and landlords last Friday, MP for Portsmouth, Ian Douglas, announced that the landlords have retained lawyers in the matter.
“The landlords themselves have retained lawyers, headed by Senior Counsel, Tony Astaphan and a team of lawyers to pursue legal action for loss of business that they intended to have in the short to or long term, medium term,” he told Kairi News.
Douglas pointed out one of the landlords said at the meeting that buildings were specifically constructed in a particular way to accommodate Ross for the foreseeable future.
He also said that the meeting was fruitful and will make way for new opportunities for the island’s second town.
He stated that landlords will, in the near future, have access to a special loan facility at the AID Bank and the government has pledged tremendous support to assist them.
“I mean, support to help them, some of them who are struggling with their mortgages and their repayments to the banks,” he remarked.
Douglas revealed that an official, formerly from the ministry of commerce and small business, has been reassigned to deal “with this Ross project.”
“To deal with the university and all of the attendant issues associated with the challenges that the landlords and the other businesses face,” he stated.
He said that those at the meeting left optimistic that the government was with them as they pick up the pieces after Ross’ departure.
“The government has not for one minute turned their back on the landlords of Picard and the people of Portsmouth,” Douglas stated. “The government will be working with the AID Bank for whatever system of assistance that is put in place for them to be able to access the funding that they need in the short term to cushion the effect of Ross’ exit…”
Last year, Ross announced that it was shutting down its operation in Dominica and from January this year, has been operating in Barbados.