Federal Prisoners Mental Health Class Action

TORONTO, Jan. 21, 2017 /CNW/ - The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has certified a class action alleging that the Government of Canada failed to provide mentally ill offenders incarcerated in the Federal penitentiary system with adequate medical care, improperly subjected them to solitary confinement, and failed to protect people who suffer from mental illness. The action was certified with the consent of Canada, the defendant, on December 12, 2016.

The claim alleges breaches of sections 7, 9, and/or 12 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The allegations have not been proven in court. Now that a class action has been given the approval to go ahead by the Court, the next step will be for the parties to litigate the case on its merits.  

The class action covers all offenders in federal custody who were diagnosed by a medical doctor with an Axis I Disorder (excluding substance use disorders), or Borderline Personality Disorder, who suffered from their disorder, in a manner described in Appendix A, and reported such during their incarceration, where the diagnosis by a medical doctor occurred either before or during incarceration in a federal institution and the offenders were incarcerated between November 1, 1992 and the present, and were alive as of July 20, 2013.

Appendix A:

  • Significant impairment in judgment (including inability to make decisions; confusion; disorientation);
  • Significant impairment in thinking (including constant preoccupation with thoughts, paranoia; delusions that make the offender a danger to self or others);
  • Significant impairment in mood (including constant depressed mood plus helplessness and hopelessness; agitation; manic mood that interferes with ability to effectively interact with other offenders, staffs or follow correctional plan);
  • Significant impairment in communications that interferes with ability to effectively interact with other offenders, staff or follow correctional plan;
  • Significant impairment due to anxiety (panic attacks; overwhelming anxiety) that interferes with ability to effectively interact with other offenders, staff or follow correctional plan;
  • Other symptoms: hallucinations; delusions; severe obsessional rituals that interferes with ability to effectively interact with other offenders, staff or follow correctional plan;
  • Chronic and severe suicidal ideation resulting in increased risk for suicide attempts;
  • Chronic and severe self-injury; or,
  • A GAF score of 50 or less.

 

The Toronto law firm of Koskie Minsky LLP has been appointed as class counsel.

SOURCE Crawford Garden City Group

For further information: Questions should be directed to Koskie Minsky LLP at 1-866-777-6343 or to the Class Action Administrator at 1-855-823-0650 or federalprisonermentalhealthclassaction@crawco.ca.

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Crawford Garden City Group

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