Over 40 years ago, C.M. and T.D. were sexually abused by their
uncle, E.B when they visited their grandparents' home where he
lived. When C.M. was 6 years old, E.B. began trying to gain her
trust with special treatment, using shared activities as
opportunities to assault her. E.B.'s assaults escalated from
fondling to finally attempting to have intercourse with C.M.,
causing her significant physical trauma. The abuse had a lasting
emotional impact on C.M. She felt she had to try very hard to
please people and appear confident, while in private she struggled
with intrusive memories of the abuse. T.D. was 11 when her uncle
E.B. began to assault her. The assault progressed from fondling to
digital penetration and oral sex and continued for over a year. As
a result, T.D. has suffered flashbacks that trigger panic attacks.
Both C.M. and T.D. were found to suffer symptoms of Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder, anxiety and depression.
C.M. and T.D. brought a claim against E.B. for compensation for
their pain and suffering and other damages. E.B. did not defend the
claim and was deemed to admit the allegations made against him.
After trial, the judge awarded C.M. $175,000 for pain and
suffering, an additional $50,000 in aggravated damages to recognize
the humiliating and degrading nature of the assaults, $20,000 for
lost earning capacity, and $25,000 in punitive damages. The judge
awarded T.D. $200,000 for pain and suffering, $50,000 in aggravated
damages, $5,000 for lost earning capacity and $25,000 in punitive
damages. The judge also ordered the defendant E.B. to pay C.M. and
T.D.'s legal costs on a substantial indemnity scale in the
amount of $41, 617.49, because fairness and justice, as well as the
Victims Bill of Rights, dictated that the victims not bear the
costs of the action.
C.M. and T.D. were represented by Gillian Hnatiw, a partner at
the Ontario law firm, Lerners LLP, who specializes in representing
victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault. Gillian is part of a
team in the Toronto office of Lerners LLP composed of lawyers and
paralegals who share her interest in abuse-related legal
Emily Da Silva is an associate at Lerners LLP, working in the
Toronto office as part of a team of lawyers and paralegals who work
in the area of civil liability for sexual abuse.
It's not often that our little blog intersects with such titanic struggles as the U.S. presidential race – and by using the term "titanic" I certainly don't mean to suggest that anything disastrous is in the future.
J.J. v. C.C., is an interesting case in which the court held that an automotive garage owes a duty to minor children to secure the vehicles on the premises by locking the cars and safely storing the car keys...
In Irwin v. Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, 2015 ABCA 396, the Alberta Court of Appeal found that the "ABVMA" failed to afford procedural fairness to a veterinarian undergoing an incapacity assessment.
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