Lerners says Supreme Court decision could impede police investigations

    TORONTO, Oct. 4 /CNW/ - Kirk Boggs and Pino Cianfarani of Lerners, which
is one of Ontario's leading law firms in the defense of police departments,
are available for comment on this morning's landmark ruling by the Supreme
Court of Canada in the case of Jason Hill v. Hamilton-Wentworth Regional
Police Services Board. While the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, dismissed
Mr. Hill's suit claiming negligent investigation on the part of the
Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police, it did rule that police can now be sued
for poorly conducted investigations. This precedent-setting ruling is expected
to have significant implications for policing throughout the country.
    In 1995, Mr. Hill was charged with ten counts of robbery following a
police investigation. Nine charges were later withdrawn, however, the
remaining charge proceeded to trial and Mr. Hill was convicted by jury. He
served 20 months in a federal penitentiary before being exonerated. In 2005,
the Ontario Court of Appeal, in considering Mr. Hill's claims, reaffirmed an
earlier ruling that a police service could be sued for damages if an
investigation was conducted negligently. Prior to today's ruling Ontario was
the only common law province in Canada which recognized this cause of action.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact: Mary
Ann Freedman, Freedman & Associates, Phone: (416) 868-1500, Email:

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