THUNDER BAY, ON, May 11, 2017 /CNW/ - Koskie Minsky LLP in Toronto, and Watkins Law, P.C., in Thunder Bay, Ontario, have commenced a class action against Ralph Rowe, Scouts Canada and the Anglican Synod of the Diocese of Keewatin on behalf of hundreds of aboriginal youth who allege they were sexually abused by Ralph Rowe, who was a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada and a Scout leader.
The claim seeks $110 million in damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and vicarious liability from Rowe, Scouts Canada and the Synod of the Diocese of Keewatin.
It is estimated that Rowe has abused as many as 500 aboriginal youth in northern Ontario and Manitoba First Nations communities during the 1970s and 1980s.
The Statement of Claim alleges that during this time, Rowe travelled throughout isolated First Nations communities as a priest of the Anglican Church and a Scout leader. In connection with his roles as a priest and Scout leader, Rowe took young aboriginal boys on camping trips and church outings and hosted children's activities and sleepovers in various cabins and Mission Houses. It was during these activities that Rowe sexually abused boys in his care.
Rowe has already been found guilty of dozens of counts of sexual assaults perpetrated on young aboriginal boys in remote First Nations communities. A July 2007 sentencing decision from Justice E.W. Stach states, "By way of overview I think it fair to say that from 1975 and continuously until the year end in 1987 Ralph Rowe adopted what, in retrospect, is fairly considered as a purposeful, premeditated, formulary and ultimately predatory approach towards the pursuit of his own personal sexual gratification. More dangerously he was well positioned and well armed to do so."
On January 20, 2017, the Anglican Church of Canada acknowledged Rowe's abuse of Indigenous boys in more than a dozen communities.
"Rowe caused untold damages in these communities, taking advantage of the trust and power given to him as a priest and Scout leader and preying on vulnerable kids," says Jonathan Ptak, lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP, "It's finally time for the courts to address the harm to the whole class and the devastated generation of First Nations youth."
"By filing this case, we are one step closer to justice for the class members in this class action," says Christopher Watkins, counsel at Watkins Law P.C.
Koskie Minsky LLP, based in Toronto, is one of Canada's foremost class action, pension, labour, employment and litigation firms. Its class actions group has been a leader in class actions since 1992 and has prosecuted many of the leading cases in the area. For example, Koskie Minsky LLP was counsel in Cloud v. Canada, the first Indian Residential Schools class action certified in Canada which was settled for $5 billion. Koskie Minsky LLP was also counsel in Dolmage v. Ontario and three other related cases against the province of Ontario on behalf of thousands of people with disabilities which were settled for more than $107 million.
Christopher Watkins of Watkins Law PC, based in Thunder Bay, brings extensive courtroom and trial experience in the areas of personal injury, criminal and class action litigation.
SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP
For further information: Jonathan Ptak, Koskie Minsky LLP, (416) 595-2149, [email protected]