February 14, 2019
The Manitoba government recently delivered its Statement of Defence in the proposed class action brought by former resident, David Weremy, on behalf of former residents of the Manitoba Developmental Centre (MDC). The proposed class action alleges that Manitoba failed in its duties to the former residents who allege they were mistreated and abused while under the government’s care.
In defending the class action, Manitoba denies that it owed a fiduciary duty to the former residents of MDC to care for and protect them from any abuse while under MDC’s full care and control. It is not clear to Mr. Weremy how Manitoba could not owe a duty to those residents it housed and was supposed to care for and protect.
In addition, while Manitoba acknowledges that the residents of MDC were persons with developmental and other disabilities, Manitoba is seeking to rely on the passage of time to deny the former residents’ claims, despite the difficulty such persons with disabilities have in accessing the justice system. Based on this Statement of Defence, Mr. Weremy is concerned that the Manitoba government will try to take advantage of the residents’ disabilities to avoid responsibility for and public disclosure of the terrible conditions the former residents were forced to live in while under Manitoba’s care.
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