Class Actions

Coroner Class Action —

This is a proposed class action brought against the Ontario Government on behalf of the next of kin of individuals who where subjects of coroner’s investigations, in cases where the pathologists removed and kept organs and tissues of the deceased, and did not return those to the next of kin. This practice occurred between 1974 to June 14, 2010.

Summary of the Proceedings

This proposed class action is brought by Shelah Brook, on behalf of all Canadians who are the immediate family members (being the spouse, common law partner, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings) and/or the executor or administrator of the estate of deceased persons whose organs or tissue were retained and/or destroyed by the Chief Coroner for Ontario, its delegates or agents, and not returned to the next of kin, following a coroner’s investigation into the deceased person’s cause of death from 1974 until June 14, 2010, (the “Class Members”).

The claim alleges that Ontario’s coroners and pathologists were negligent, engaged in misfeasance in public office, and engaged in conduct that exceeds the scope of governing legislation by retaining and/or destroying the organs and tissues of the deceased persons, without telling the next of kin this was taking place.  The Ontario government is legally responsible for the misconduct of the coroners and pathologists.

The claim alleges that in destroying the organs and tissues, Ontario failed to have due regard for the religious, cultural, spiritual or other sensibilities of the deceased’s next of kin or personal representatives regarding the funerary arrangements for the deceased, and that this has caused the next of kin to suffer mental injuries.

The action seeks to recover general damages, special damages, moral and aggravated damages, and punitive and exemplary damages for class members.

Status of the Proceedings

The Plaintiff has served her motion record for a court order to allow this action to proceed as a class proceeding.  Ontario has not yet delivered its response.

Was a member of your family the subject of a Coroner’s Investigation Prior to June 14, 2010?

If you believe that a family member was the subject of a Coroner’s Investigation Prior to June 14, 2010 and you know, or are concerned that the coroner or pathologist retained an organ or tissues of your loved one, then we would like to hear from you.

Please contact Adam Babiak at 647.261.4486 or by email to reception@waddellphillips.ca re: Coroner’s Class Action, or fill in the form at the “Contact Us” link, below.

Summary of the Proceedings

This proposed class action is brought by Shelah Brook, on behalf of all Canadians who are the immediate family members (being the spouse, common law partner, children, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, and siblings) and/or the executor or administrator of the estate of deceased persons whose organs or tissue were retained and/or destroyed by the Chief Coroner for Ontario, its delegates or agents, and not returned to the next of kin, following a coroner’s investigation into the deceased person’s cause of death from 1974 until June 14, 2010, (the “Class Members”).

The claim alleges that Ontario’s coroners and pathologists were negligent, engaged in misfeasance in public office, and engaged in conduct that exceeds the scope of governing legislation by retaining and/or destroying the organs and tissues of the deceased persons, without telling the next of kin this was taking place.  The Ontario government is legally responsible for the misconduct of the coroners and pathologists.

The claim alleges that in destroying the organs and tissues, Ontario failed to have due regard for the religious, cultural, spiritual or other sensibilities of the deceased’s next of kin or personal representatives regarding the funerary arrangements for the deceased, and that this has caused the next of kin to suffer mental injuries.

The action seeks to recover general damages, special damages, moral and aggravated damages, and punitive and exemplary damages for class members.

Status of the Proceedings

The Plaintiff has served her motion record for a court order to allow this action to proceed as a class proceeding.  Ontario has not yet delivered its response.

Was a member of your family the subject of a Coroner’s Investigation Prior to June 14, 2010?

If you believe that a family member was the subject of a Coroner’s Investigation Prior to June 14, 2010 and you know, or are concerned that the coroner or pathologist retained an organ or tissues of your loved one, then we would like to hear from you.

Please contact Adam Babiak at 647.261.4486 or by email to reception@waddellphillips.ca re: Coroner’s Class Action, or fill in the form at the “Contact Us” link, below.

Updates about this proposed class action will be posted as they become available.

We review every inquiry we receive and will respond promptly to case specific inquiries.

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