Former government scientist found dead by family

| 15/09/2015 | 11 Comments

Cayman News Service(CNS): Police said that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of 60-year-old Dr Astley McLaughlin, who lived alone and was found dead by family members in his Bodden Town home this weekend. The local scientist once worked for government in what was at the time the ministry of agriculture, environment and works but was dismissed when his job was abolished in 1999. However, McLaughlin claimed he was wrongfully dismissed and fought government over the redundancy. 

His case went all the way to the Privy Council in London and he eventually won. As a result, in 2005 government was forced to pay McLaughlin eight years back-pay, amounting to $454,000, which included money towards his pension, as well as an annual payment until he reached the age of retirement. The scientist turned sixty during the last financial year, and although government was no longer paying him his salary, he was being paid a government pension.

The police did not state what the cause of death was thought to be but a post-mortem is expected to be carried out shortly.

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Category: Local News

Comments (11)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    rest in peace sir astley you are surely be miss by many. a good person who always willing to share his tremendous knowledge to all. he was a big lost to the community.

  2. Cindy Capps says:

    I was able to get to know Astley through friends in Rochester NY. He was a wonderful and intelligent individual with much to offer society. I am sending my condolences to his brother and any other family members. This is a terrible tragedy, so you are in my prayers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Astley McLaughlin will be remembered for his smile, laughter & intellect

  4. Caymanian says:

    ” he can run MRCU….nothing to do with chemical engineering but he’s a Caymanian so he can do it ”

    To enlighten anon @ 6:54pm The MRCU’s operation is based on the application of Chemicals into the environment to combat mosquito overpopulation. Over 7 different pesticides (chemicals) are used in this process. So if having a degree/background in Chemical Engineering doesn’t qualify anyone(Caymanian or expat) to at least work within the Unit and/or manage it, I wonder what will?

    to further add to your misinformed viewpoint, as it was explained to me, one of the barriers a lot of Caymanians faced seeking employment within the MRCU was the fact that most lacked a Chemical/Bio/Science/Engineering background (Supposedly a requirement to even be considered to fly the plane). Although I wonder if the Pilot/Contractors from New Zealand/US/AUSTRALIA they would bring in during the spraying season possessed those qualifications also…
    RIP Dr. Astley- A true hero to us all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Notwithstanding the comments that a previous poster made about Gomez and Wood-which are 100% accurate -Astley was a bright Caymanian put in the wrong job just because he was a Caymanian and a job had to be found for him when he returned to Cayman.. I recall he was a chemical engineer so the theory in those early days was ok, he’s a Caymanian, he can run MRCU….nothing to do with chemical engineering but he’s a Caymanian so he can do it.. That was not fair to him and it is still something that bedevils a civil service always looking out to see how it can avoid Ezzard Miller bitching at it by appointing less than satisfactory people. The school system with a very large number of sub standard Caymanians is a prime example and just look at where that has got us. RIP Astley -a soft quiet person.

  6. Anonymous says:

    A decent pleasant man who will be missed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    RIP Astley. At least you showed Gomez and Wood what you were made off by taking their nonsense against you to the Privy Council and winning.

  8. Anonymous says:

    May he RIP. He dared to stand up for himself and will not be forgotten.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Astley was a true trail blazer. I first met him when he became our neighbor in Beach Bay in the early 1990’s.

    An intellect, an honest and extremely hard working son of the soil. He was a lover of nature and it’s enduring beauty. I personally saw him construct his home practically on his own and often wondered how it was possible for a man to lay construction blocks alone at 8:00pm, with only a small illuminated light to see what he was doing ? He built a strong home than not even Hurricane Ivan could structurally damage, especially being on the south coast of the island.

    Unfortunately for Astley, like many other civil servants in the past and even now, the upper echelons in Government thought they could push around certain Caymanians and stomp upon them and they would simply blow away in the wind.

    Wow……. they completely underestimated Astley. He was raised up and educated in New York and knew about the toughness of life growing up there.

    Astley challenged the ‘status quo’ and beat their asses all the way to the Privy Council with a big victory. When government destroyed a piece of his property with a bulldozer he challenged them again and became victorious in the courts.

    Many civil servants have Dr. Astley McLaughlin to thank by causing/creating case law which can be referred to at any time to protect their rights.

    Ever wondered why certain upper civil servants who were alleged to have been involved in wrong doing, but remained on full paid leave for many many years and in the end, their names were cleared and their matters were settled out of court ?

    Well, put simply, Government officials tremors when defense lawyers start referring to case law that is recorded as Dr. Astley Mclaughlin vs Cayman Islands.

    R.I.P. Astley – it was a pleasure of have known you for so many years and sincere condolences to your mom and the rest of the family.

    • Anonymous says:

      Really sad news indeed.

      Civil Servants owe you dearly. Your landmark case set the tone for a new era of labour relations in Government, and others have benefitted from your lead. I personally know of a few people who cited your case to prevent further injustices by Gomez and others still in the system

      Time longer than rope though and their time will come.

      R.I.P. Astley

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sad news. He was a good guy.

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