TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2018 /CNW/ - On January 25, 2018, Koskie Minsky LLP in Toronto, with Cooper Regel (a member of Masuch Albert LLP) in Sherwood Park, Alberta, commenced a class action against the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of patients and family members regarding the Canadian Government's operation of Indian Hospitals. The action's representative plaintiff, Ann Hardy, was a former patient in the Charles Camsell Indian Hospital in Edmonton. She was admitted to Camsell when she was only 10 years old, and suffered repeated sexual abuse by hospital staff.
"Indian Hospitals" is the term used by the Canadian Government and refers to the twenty-nine facilities that were established and operated by the Canadian Government between 1945 to 1981, exclusively for Indigenous peoples. The statement of claim alleges that in these hospitals, Canada segregated Indigenous people from the rest of Canadian society in substandard hospitals which were overcrowded, improperly staffed, and rife with physical and sexual abuse. Many of the patients were children, and suffered from horrific conditions such as being tied or shackled to their beds for weeks or months on end and subjected to inappropriate treatments that had long been abandoned for patients in non-Indigenous hospitals. The action alleges that patients were left with severe physical, psychological and emotional injuries.
The claim is brought on behalf of all patients who were admitted to an Indian Hospital between 1945 to 1981, and their families. It alleges that Canada was negligent and breached its fiduciary duties owed to Indigenous persons.
"It is shocking that in the modern era, Canada would operate a segregated health care system where Indigenous persons would be housed in substandard hospitals and subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment and conditions. It is necessary to shine a light on this dark chapter in recent history," says Jonathan Ptak, lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP.
"The colonial relationship between Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Metis extended to all spheres of life. Many people know now about the abysmal history of the residential schools but remain unaware that even in the field of medical care, Canada failed to meet its most basic obligation to care for the sick. Thousands of men, women and children were brought in from remote communities expecting to receive the benefits of modern medicine only to be treated as second-class citizens and subjected to horrific conditions," says Steven Cooper, co-counsel at Cooper Regel (a member of Masuch Albert LLP).
The claim seeks $1 billion in damages for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty and $100 million in punitive damages.
SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP
For further information: or a copy of the issued statement of claim, please contact: Koskie Minsky LLP, Tel: (866) 777-6308, Email: [email protected]; Cooper Regel (a member of Masuch Albert LLP), Tel: (800) 994-7477, Email: [email protected]; For media inquiries, please contact Jonathan Ptak at [email protected] or (416) 595-2149; Visit www.kmlaw.ca for further information on Koskie Minsky LLP