Every time there is talk about Africa today, words like corruption, human rights abuses, injustice and all nature of crime usually escape from the lips of not only preachers of democracy in the western world but those of many Africans too. To the majority of Africans, all is well in the western world. Injustice and corruption are only synonymous with the African continent.
The case in which a Uganda born American nurse is pitted against her former employer has revealed otherwise. Barbara Clark has been searching for justice in the US for over a decade. Justice, however, continues to elude her. Her case against the Adventist Health System (run by the Adventist Church) was dismissed in the lower U.S. district court serving Sacramento, when attorneys representing John Rea, the Acting Director of Industrial Relations, claimed immunity from the suit under the 11th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
She now hopes that her decade-long nightmares are about to end in what is expected to be a landmark case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her case now hinges on the argument that a claims adjuster could be considered an actor of the state. "We are hopeful that the Ninth Circuit will balance state interests with those of injured workers fighting workers' compensation bureaucracy," Clark said while awaiting the final verdict on her case at the Ninth Circuit of Appeal. "When an injured worker complains to the state through more than one hundred letters, it is difficult for me to see how the state can deny culpability in the alleged misconduct of claims adjusters."
Meanwhile, she has a six-year-old lawsuit pending at the State Court serving Bakersfield, California. This action was filed by her attorney under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law. Known as "RICO", the law was created to fight organized crime in the 1960s. Mail and wire fraud are amongst its main targets. Clark claims that hospitals operated by the Adventist Church are similar to an organized crime syndicate, judging by the manner in which they extort compliance from injured workers like her. Presently, this case is pending appeal in California's appellate court. According to Clark: "As has become very typical of the Adventists, they employ every possible legal technicality to postpone and delay the court's proceedings. Their latest appeal to California's Fifth Appellate Court represents the height of frivolity."