Organ Retention Class Action
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Summary of the Proceedings
On February 12, 2014, Harrison Pensa LLP issued a Statement of Claim on behalf of persons in Canada who are the immediate family members and/or personal representatives of deceased persons whose body parts were retained and/or destroyed by the Chief Coroner for Ontario, or its delegates or agents, after an investigation into the deceased person’s cause of death between the years 1974 and 2010 (the “Class Period”).
The proposed class action alleges misfeasance in public office, negligence, and conduct that exceeds the scope of governing legislation against the Ontario government on account of the systematic practice of coroners and forensic pathologists in Ontario retaining body parts of deceased individuals for extended periods of time without notice to the family members or personal representatives of the deceased. It is alleged that many of those organs were also destroyed.
The action seeks to recover general damages, special damages, and punitive and exemplary damages for class members.
Status of the Proceedings
This matter has been filed in London, Ontario. The Certification Motion has not yet been scheduled. Further information will be posted as this matter proceeds.