Archive for October, 2007

Judge Expands Abuse Claim Time Limits…Catches Up to Canada

Judge John R. O’Malley denied the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph summary judgment Friday, after hearing arguments based on Powel v. Chaminade, which added new wording to how the statute of limitations can be applied in sexual abuse claims. The ruling allows a court to consider when a plaintiff not only recalled the alleged abuse, but recognized the harm it inflicted.

O’Malley’s decision allowed the lawsuit to proceed to a jury verdict. The Diocese settled within days.

The ruling means Missouri’s law is now similar to Canada. The 1992 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada,  M (K) v M (H),  removed a major barrier to lawsuits by ruling that provincial limitation periods do not begin to run until the plaintiff is reasonably capable of discovering the wrongful nature of the defendant’s acts and the nexus between those acts and the plaintiff’s injuries.

Nova Scotia became the first Province to amend its Limitation of Actions Act to provide that the limitation period for sexual abuse cases does not start to run until the victim is aware of the full extent of the abuse and the injury suffered. In 1994, British Columbia amended its Limitation Act to eliminate all limitations for causes of action ‘based on misconduct of a sexual nature’ or ‘based on sexual assault’. The rest of the Provinces enacted similar legislation shortly thereafter. 

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Residential School Survivor Receives First Settlement Payment

The first compensation cheque in the largest abuse claims settlement in history was issued today.

An Alberta teacher who was forced to spend 10 years in one of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools was presented with her cheque by Assembly of First Nations Chief, Phil Fontaine. You can read more here.

The Residential Schools settlement is the largest class action settlement in Canadian history and, I believe, is the largest abuse claims settlement in the world. I posted details here.


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