Tort Tuesday: Teen refugee sues B.C. government

According to lawyer Chris Terepocki, his client is suing for a “substantial” amount of damages.
According to lawyer Chris Terepocki, his client is suing for a “substantial” amount of damages. Stock photo from iStock/Getty Images.

The issue of refugees has been a hot-button issue for some time now, especially as Canada is preparing to accept about 25,000 Syrian refugees.

Now another refugee case is making headlines in Canada, regarding a young man who was put in solitary confinement when he was a minor, and is now suing the British Columbia government for damages.

K.C., as court documents have named him, has been at the Burnaby Youth Detention Centre since 2014, alleged to have committed murder and attempted murder.

At the time he was incarcerated in October of 2014, K.C. was 17 years old. He alleges that after he got into an argument with a correctional officer, he was separated from the other inmates and put into solitary confinement from Nov 4, 2014 to March 17, 2015.

However, solitary confinement is only allowed for 72 hours.

K.C., who is originally from South Sudan, is suing the B.C. government for negligence and false imprisonment, and is also claiming his Charter rights were violated.

According to Chris Terepocki, K.C.’s lawyer, his client is suing for a “substantial” amount of damages.

Class action lawsuit started in Alberta over pond spill

Three companies have been accused of having spilled toxic materials into a coal tailings pond that leads to the Athabasca River.

The companies named in the lawsuit are: Obed Coal Mine, which was operated by Coal Valley Resources Inc. which, in turn, operated the mine as a subsidiary of Sherritt International Corp. However, also named is Westmoreland Coal Co., because they bought the mine in 2014.

The coalmine was located near Hinton, and is alleged to have spilled wastewater into the pond on October 31, 2013. It’s claimed they spilled about 670 million litres.

After the spill, the Alberta government told residents not to draw water from the river, and that the livestock of farmers shouldn’t drink from it either.

The chief of the Fort McMurray First Nation, Ronald Kruetzer, filed the class action. It is to include anyone who lived near, relied on, used and made profit from the Plante and Apetowun creeks, Athabasca River and Peace-Athabasca Delta.

This class action comes after Coal Valley and Sherritt just got slapped with six charges under the Alberta Environmental Protection Act.

Sears Canada facing another class action lawsuit

Sears Canada is facing not one, but two class action lawsuits by its store dealers.

The latest class action lawsuit against Sears alleges that hundreds of millions of dollars were paid in special dividends to the board of directors and its special shareholders in 2013, which would solely benefit its special shareholders.

Store dealers took an issue with that, because Sears Canada liquidated long-term leases around the same time. The company didn’t want to re-invest funds to offset its vast operating losses.

The claim alleges that on the same day the losses were reported, a payout of $509 million was approved to shareholders of all common shares.

This lawsuit comes after dealers already filed a previous $100 million class action in early 2013, claiming that the company changed commission structures and diverted sales away from dealers.

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