October 29, 2005

Church not liable in sex assault case, top court rules

Globe and Mail


Saturday, October 29, 2005 Page A11

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a Roman Catholic order does not have to pay damages to a native man who was sexually assaulted by a baker at a British Columbia Indian residential school in the 1950s and 1960s.

The decision says the church has no "vicarious liability" for the assault because the employee was not given direct responsibility for the care of the children at the school.

The court's decision could have an impact on many organizations, including schools, clubs and treatment centres, that have employees who do not directly supervise children. It could also become a factor in several residential school abuse cases that are before the courts.

John Shewfelt, the lawyer for the abused man, said yesterday that the decision "certainly doesn't advance the protection of children."

Posted by kshaw at October 29, 2005 10:13 AM