In The News
Regulatory gap leaves Lunenburg Harbour polluted
Lunenburg Harbour will remain contaminated with sewage as long as there are no laws in place forcing anyone to clean up the pollution or to prevent it in the first place, says a town businessman.
Bill Flower, whose tour boat operation is based beside the town’s sewage outfall at the harbour waterfront, has spent more than a decade trying unsuccessfully to persuade all three levels of government to address the contamination. Meanwhile, testing at the harbour over the past two years has revealed extraordinarily high levels of fecal contamination, especially around the outfall where he works.
Most recent testing, conducted last month at the wharf, showed fecal contamination more than nine times higher than what’s considered safe by Health Canada for recreational use.
Mom plans lawsuit in Leitches Creek grad party death (7/12/2018)
The mother of the 17-year-old boy who was recently struck and killed on a Cape Breton highway after attending a graduation party says she plans to sue the couple who held the event on their Leitches Creek property.
Jenn Hanna says she’s hired a Sydney lawyer who’s agreed to argue the case that the couple are partially liable for the death of her son, Joneil Hanna, who died during the early morning hours of June 10 while attempting to walk home from the property. The driver of the vehicle that struck Hanna had also been attending the prom party.
Police have not laid charges in the incident.
The Chronicle Herald has learned that in the days leading up to the party one of the property owners took to Facebook pledging no grad would be permitted to leave the party without being picked up by an adult or without first telling their parents they were leaving the event that was held the night of June 9. The author of the post that appeared on May 23 in the Facebook page, Prom Parent Group, identified herself as a mother of a graduating student.
John McKiggan, a Halifax personal injury lawyer, said those statements could come back to haunt the couple in the proposed civil case.
“The big issue in this case, I think, is the social host liability,” said McKiggan. “The fact that the parents specifically said people would not be allowed to leave the party without permission places a higher onus of supervision on the parents.”
Read more about this story on The Chronicle Herald Website.
Antigonish boy receives $6M settlement for brain damage at birth (6/25/2018)
A seven-year-old boy in Antigonish, N.S., has received the largest personal injury settlement in Nova Scotia legal history.
Dr. Allison Ball, an obstetrician, and the former Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority have agreed to pay a total of $6 million to Cullan Chisholm due to severe brain injuries he suffered during his delivery.
“This settlement allows us to give Cullan the best quality of life as possible,” said Monique Chisholm, Cullan’s 35-year-old mother.
“I guess with this settlement now we can live like — and I’m going to use quotes — like a ‘normal’ family,” she said. You can read more about this historic settlement here.
Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement (6/20/2018)
A federal judge has approved a landmark deal to compensate members of the Canadian military and other agencies who were investigated and sometimes fired because of their sexual orientation between 1955 and 1996.
Gay military veterans told the judge they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality. Sobbing could be heard from onlookers as a steady stream of men and women took turns at a microphone to lament how being gay or lesbian made them enemies of their own country. Below are 3 articles regarding the settlement:
Legal experts say sex abuse insurance lawsuit could have far-reaching consequences (3/2018)
Experts believe that the result of a legal battle between a major insurer and an Ontario Catholic diocese could have further consequences and implications for similar cases in the near future.
In 2008, the Catholic Diocese of London filed a lawsuit against AXA Insurance Canada claiming a breach of policy when the company refused to pay for claims related to settlements between the religious organization and the sexual abuse victims of two priests associated with the church. Read More.
Lawsuit over sex abuse insurance could have consequences for future cases, experts say
A decade-long court battle between an insurance company and an Ontario Catholic diocese over coverage for settlements in sexual abuse cases could have wide-ranging consequences for victims and religious institutions involved in similar cases across Canada, legal experts say. Read More.
Military postal clerk fired for being a lesbian awaits apology from Ottawa (11/28/2017)
The lead plaintiff of an Atlantic Canadian lawsuit against the Department of National Defence says she’s eager to hear an official apology this afternoon in Ottawa. “I’m looking forward to it,” said 57-year-old Alida Satalic of Dartmouth, N.S., who has travelled to Ottawa to hear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau say Canada is sorry for decades of harassment of LGBT people in the military, RCMP and federal civil service. Read More.
Former navy lieutenant ‘very relieved’ LGBT apology is coming (11/20/2017)
A former navy lieutenant who was forced out of the Canadian Forces because he is gay says he’s happy the federal Liberal government will soon fulfill a campaign promise for an official apology. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Sunday that he would formally apologize on Nov. 28. Read More.
The Globe & Mail: Liberals’ judge selection has new bias, lawyers association says (10/25/2017)
Three of the five appointees in the Maritimes since then specialized in insurance law when they were lawyers, the Atlantic Provinces Trial Lawyers Association said in an open letter to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould on Wednesday. And all three worked for the same regional law firm, Stewart McKelvey. “It’s a concern when we see judges being appointed from the same practice background, because we believe that as lawyers, we’re human, we’re influenced by our clients that we serve day-in, day-out, the culture of the firm that we’re in, the type of law that we practice.” Read More.
Chronicle Herald: Halifax-Yarmouth Archdiocese official says finance bill shelved by legislature is no attempt to hide assets (10/25/2017)
The local and private bills committee deferred the bill Tuesday after Halifax lawyer John McKiggan expressed concerns the bill would allow the archdiocese to divest itself of assets and place them into sub-corporations held by individual parishes. Read More.
Global News CA: Bill held after abuse victims’ lawyer questions reorganization of church diocese (10/24/2017)
McKiggan suggests the intent for the proposed change to century-old legislation was to “make it more difficult for survivors of priest sexual abuse to be able to receive just and fair compensation for their injuries.” Read More.
CBC: Halifax archdiocese bill on hold because of ‘serious, serious implications’ (10/24/2017)
Lawyer John McKiggan, who has represented sexual abuse victims, said he believes the bill would make it harder for victims of priest sexual abuse to receive compensation. Read More.
CTV News: Canada considers lowering the legal alcohol limit (8/9/2017)
Word that the federal government is considering lowering the legal alcohol limit is being met with optimism by advocates and MADD. John McKiggan also reminds us that distratcted driving and measuring impairment from cannabis use are also important issues. Read More.
CBC: Saint John Appeals Certification of Class Action Suit (6/22/2017)
The City of Saint John made another attempt Thursday to block a class action lawsuit on behalf of adults who say they were sexually abused as minors by the late police officer Kenneth Estabrooks. Read More.
CBC: LGBT discrimination class actions against federal government merge (3/30/2017)
Lawyers working on three separate class actions against the federal government seeking damages for military members and civil servants who were fired for being LGBT have merged their cases. Read More
CTV News: N.S. lawyers combining three class action lawsuits against Canadian military (3/30/2017)
Lawyers seeking compensation for people let go from the Canadian Armed Forces and the civil service for being gay are merging three class action lawsuits into one, hoping to find strength in numbers. Read More
Chronicle Herald: Feds Facing LGBT Class-action Suit (3/30/2017)
The federal government is facing a cross-Canada class-action lawsuit for the historical purge of LGBT Canadians from military and federal service jobs. Read More
Daily Xtra: Class-action lawsuit proceeds on government, military purge in Canada (1/12/2017)
Class-action lawsuits against the federal government’s purge of gay employees are proceeding, with increasing calls for an apology and compensation for fired ousted public servants.
Military, DND face class-action lawsuit over alleged treatment of gays, lesbians
A Halifax lawyer has launched a class-action lawsuit on behalf of homosexual members of the Canadian Forces and employees of the Department of National Defence who say they were targeted by the military because of their sexual orientation while serving in Atlantic Canada.
Lawsuit alleges military aggressively interrogated gay members from 1969 to 1995
Alida Satalic’s lawsuit says she was interrogated by investigation units on the pretext of security screenings, and was asked about her sexual relationships in detail.
Alleged Victims of Kenneth Estabrooks Seek Lawsuit Against Saint John, Police Force
A hearing that will decide whether a class-action lawsuit will be filed against the City of Saint John and its police force was before the court on Monday.
Spring Garden speed limit reduction petition launched by Halifax lawyer
An injury lawyer in Halifax has launched an online petition arguing for the speed limit on Spring Garden Road to be reduced from 50 km/h to 30 km/h.
Halifax lawyer launches petition to slow traffic on Spring Garden Road
A Halifax lawyer has started an online petition to have the speed zone on Spring Garden Road dropped to 30 kilometres per hour, down from 50.
Local lawyer starts petition to lower speed limit on Spring Garden Road
A Halifax lawyer has started a petition to try and lower the speed limit on Spring Garden Road in an effort to curb a number of vehicle-pedestrian collisions that frequently happen in the area.
Slowing down on Spring Garden: Petition started to reduce speed to 30 km/h
A personal injury lawyer in Halifax has started an online petition asking the municipality to lower the speed limit on Spring Garden Road from 50 to 30 km/h.
EXPLAINER: In fatal crashes, careless isn’t criminal—lawyer
Three people died in a motor vehicle collision last December. Five months later, the driver was charged with a relatively minor motor vehicle offence.
Judge refuses to release names in Estabrooks lawsuit against Saint John
A judge has rejected a request by the City of Saint John that would have forced a Halifax law firm to turn over the names of potential participants in a class action lawsuit over abuse by former police officer Kenneth Estabrooks.
Kenneth Estabrooks case costs Saint John $446K in investigation bills
The City of Saint John has paid $446,000 to a private investigation firm working on the Kenneth Estabrooks case and taxpayers could be exposed to millions more in compensation settlements.
Kenneth Estabrooks alleged victims’ lawyer fights city’s attempt to get names
The lawyer for the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit is fighting an attempt by the City of Saint John to get a list of names of people alleging abuse by former police officer Kenneth Estabrooks.
Five years of solitude – The use of segregation in NS prisons numbers in the thousands.
Convicts don’t get much sympathy. They broke the law, and that’s enough for some people to write them off completely.
Extreme Weather Conditions Help Cause Your Accident? Well You Can’t Blame It
Video Gallery – The Weather Network
The Register/Advertiser recognizes McKiggan Hebert Lawyers’s scholarship to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
You see it all the time. Driving through New Minas or Wolfville when the traffic is heavy, drivers often have cell phones attached to their ears. Even worse, they could be texting, but that’s not so visible.
Halifax medical malpractice lawyer, John McKiggan explains 6 reasons why medical malpractice claims are so difficult in Canada
Winning a medical malpractice case against a doctor at trial is a long shot. Of 911 court cases filed on average annually, patients win 20, doctors win 74, settlements are made in 342 and the remainder are dismissed, discontinued or abandoned, according to numbers provided by the Canadian Medical Protective Association.
Ontario doctor rebuked for denying role of ‘gross medication error’ in patient’s death
Regulators have rebuked an Ontario doctor for misleading family members about the role of a “gross medication error” in their loved one’s death, a rare case of a physician being censured for secrecy around a health-care mistake.
John McKiggan interviewed by CBC on the causes of increasing medical malpractice premiums in Nova Scotia.
John McKiggan is a partner at McKiggan Hebert Lawyers who has been representing victims of medical malpractice for almost two decades.
Inside Canada’s secret world of medical error: ‘There is a lot of lying, there’s a lot of cover-up’
As Helen Church woke up one morning just before Christmas 2012, the pain that had been building for weeks behind her right eye reached an excruciating climax.
Distracted driving decision ‘an excellent, common sense ruling’
Even if you’re not talking or sending a text, just looking at your phone while driving is a crime. That’s the take-away from a Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruling released yesterday.
John McKiggan interviewed about problems with medical malpractice litigation in Canada
Starting next year, doctors’ malpractice insurance in most parts of the country will cost a lot more – more than doubling in many places. Fortunately for physicians, however, that will affect provincial health budgets more than their own practices.
Brian Hebert comments on NS Medical Errors Registry
For the first time ever, the Nova Scotia government has released information about patient incidents but one Wolfville mother said she hopes it is more about making imp
Babies, cars and high temperatures: A deadly mix
With high temperatures about to return to the city, the Erin Mills resident is ramping up a one-man campaign to warn people that the practice often has tragic consequences. Last year, a Milton toddler died when he was left in a hot car on a 30 C day.
UPDATE: Legal action in decades-old sex abuse scandal
Survivors of one of the worst child sexual abusers in Canadian history filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against the city of Saint John, New Brunswick.
Lawyer calls for public inquiry into suspected Saint John child molester
Saint John investigators announced this morning that the number of suspected victims Kenneth Estabrooks sexually abused has climbed to 263 and they expect that number to increase. Jennifer Tryon reports.
John McKiggan interviewed about planned class action by Estabrooks Sexual Abuse Survivors
Estabrooks Abuse Survivors Retain John McKiggan to file Class Action against Saint John
A Halifax lawyer is in the process of drafting a class action lawsuit against the city of Saint John on behalf of a number of alleged victims of Ken Estabrooks.
Court rules people sending texts may be responsible to car accidents: John McKiggan explains
I think it’s something that the public has to be made aware of so that people realize that texting and driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.
Nova Scotia to independently review treatment of cyberbullying cases by police, courts
The man in charge of investigating how police and prosecutors handled the case of bullied Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons will determine if more can be done to help the justice system cope with troubling issues stemming from social media.
Abuse survivor advocate John McKiggan interviewed about Fenwick MacIntosh acquittal
There are calls for an independent review into the Fenwick MacIntosh sex abuse case, a day after the Nova Scotia Justice Department released reports on how the Public Prosecution Service and RCMP handled the matter.
Don’t Forget Kids in Hot Cars
With more hot weather on the way, safety advocates hope two recent tragedies won’t be repeated.
Halifax police warn about leaving kids, pets in cars on hot days
“On a day like today the temperature inside your vehicle becomes extremely hot, extremely fast,” said Const. Pierre Bourdages of the Halifax Regional Police. “It’s dangerous, it’s careless and just don’t leave any animals or children in your vehicle.”
Mental “auto pilot” causes many hot car deaths
Kids and Cars Canada founder and Halifax injury lawyer John McKiggan says 54-percent of heat stroke deaths of children in cars result from someone forgetting.
Kids and Cars spokesperson John McKiggan warns about the dangers of leaving children in cars.
Annie Landreville remembers chancing upon a baby who was minutes away from dying in the back of a stifling hot car.
Funeral for Ontario toddler who died in hot car
Many shed tears, others held one another, while some just looked shell-shocked as they gathered Wednesday to mourn an Ontario toddler who died last week after being left alone in a sweltering car.
John McKiggan talks about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars…
As we struggle to understand what led to the death of a little girl found in a hot car, a Canadian organization that tracks and tries to prevent similar tragedies is offering an explanation.
John McKiggan warns of dangers to children in hot cars
As police revealed more details about the death of a two-year-old boy outside Toronto, news of another incident on Thursday involving an unattended toddler inside a vehicle further exacerbated concerns over the steady flow of “hot car deaths” in North America.
After the Error recounts positive changes in the wake of medical mistakes
Working as a B.C. coroner for 10 years, from 1993 to 2003, Susan McIver became well-acquainted with death. Over the phone from her home in Summerland, McIver emphasizes to the Straight that coroners don’t find fault…
Patients’ odds of winning medical malpractice suits in Canada aren’t good, says new book
The chances of a patient winning a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor in Canada are slim, according to a new book entitled After the Error: Speaking Out About Patient Safety to Save Lives…
A Primer on Class Actions
John McKiggan interviewed on Information Morning explaining the challenges of class actions.
Lawyer John McKiggan tells us how the system works for people who are part of a class action suit.
Sudden Impact: John McKiggan’s article in Lawyers Weekly about liability for sports concussions.
Nothing went well for the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, but it could have been worse. I’m talking about Game 2, when Tigers pitcher Doug Fister took a line drive to the head from Gregor Blanco.
Survivor haunted by memories of residential school
On Saturday, he and 17 other survivors of Canada’s residential schools will lead a community procession in Waycobah to unveil a special monument and exhibit dedicated to survivors. The event is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.
Church had duty to flag allegations: lawyers
MONCTON, N.B. – A Roman Catholic diocese in New Brunswick should have notified police immediately when it heard last year that two priests were alleged to have sexually abused children, say two lawyers who have represented victims of abuse by clergymen…
Class Action Eyed in KHI Case
Former Knowledge House Inc. shareholders have hired a Halifax law firm to investigate a potential class action aimed at recouping the money they lost when the e-learning company collapsed in 2001.
Sex Abuse Settlement Wraps Up
The Diocese of Antigonish will try to close a dark chapter in its history this week as it wraps up a sex abuse settlement with 125 people, but the lawyer representing them says they continue to heal their emotional wounds.
Class action eyed in Knowledge House case
John Mckiggan interviewed about plans to file a class action on behalf of former Knowledge House shareholders
Lawyer on Mission to Stop Car-Related Child Deaths
Halifax injury lawyer John McKiggan
has started a Canadian branch of the US organization KidsAndCars. The group has been shedding light on so-called “backover accidents”.
No regulations in Canada to protect children from vehicles in reverse
Global news interviews injury lawyer John McKiggan, Chair of Kids and Cars Canada about the dangers of ‘back-over” injuries to children.
More data needed for backover collisions involving kids: safety organization
Kids and Cars Canada Chair, John McKiggan calls for better information collection to help prevent injuries to children.
‘Backover’ accidents a hidden problem – Kids and Cars Canada comments
The scene held no forewarning of automotive tragedy: nearing noon, clear day, balmy temperatures, empty parking lot…
John McKiggan’s interview on CBC’s Information Morning regarding what effect Msg. Lynn’s conviction for Child Endangerment will have in Canada
Information Morning interviewed me about the possible effects here in Canada of Msg. Lynn’s conviction on child endangement charges.
U.S. court decision holds church official accountable for covering up abuse
John McKiggan is a partner at McKiggan Hebert Lawyers who has been representing survivors of childhood abuse for almost two decades.
New Brunswick village divided over vote to remove late priest’s name from arena
Halifax-area lawyer John McKiggan, who has worked with other victims of Catholic sexual abuse, said he’s received calls about Léger in the past, but he’d never been retained by any victims.
John McKiggan remembers Nora Bernard at Truth and Reconciliation Hearings
Video from the Truth and Reconciliation Hearings memorial tribute to Nora Bernard.
John McKiggan Nominated for National Award for Exemplary Journalism
WINNIPEG – Beyond Borders ECPAT Canada announces the 2011 nominees for exemplary journalism covering issues related to the sexual exploitation of children.
The Catholic Church and sexual abuse
John McKiggans article published in Lawyers Weekly magazine.
John McKiggan Interviewed by 570 News About the Dangers of Children Being Left in Cars
John McKiggan’s Interview with Scott Kitching
98.1 Free FM | Blackburn Radio (London)
Halifax Lawyer Calls for “Catastrophic” Auto Insurance
McKiggan says medical benefits too low for severely injured
Boy Pinned Between Cars Awarded $1.4M
A Nova Scotia boy who was left permanently disabled after being involved in a car accident has been awarded more than $1.4 million by the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.
John McKiggan interviewed about criminal records checks for volunteers.
CBC radio interviews John McKiggan: Topics discussed include vicarious liability of organizations for sexual abuse by volunteers and conducting criminal records checks to screen volunteers for past sexual offences.
CBC Radio’s interview with Robert Bowden about the Antigonish Diocese Class Action
Abuse Apology Changed Life of Cape Breton Man
CBC’s Tom Murphy interviews Robert, one of the class members in the Antigonish Diocese class action. Robert describes the importance of the class action to him.
John McKiggan’s interview with Todd Battis
Former Bishop Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charge
CTV news coverage of charges against Raymond Lahey includes video of John McKiggan’s interview with Todd Battis.
Settlement Cheques Coming
Chronicle Herald reports on payments about to be made under Antigonish Diocese class action settlement.
Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese of Yarmouth Alleging Sexual Abuse by Priest
Another lawsuit has been filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese in Yarmouth involving allegations of sexual abuse involving a former priest, but it’s not the same priest named in lawsuits that were filed a year ago.
Woman Alleges Decade of Abuse by N.S. Priest
Globe and Mail Jan. 5, 2010 Coverage of Linda Deschamps claim against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish
Settlement reached in lawsuit against N.S. diocese over alleged sex abuse
Alison Auld Canadian Press August 7, 2009 reports on Ron Martin’s class action against the Diocese of Antigonish.
Lawyer offers help to sexual abuse victims
Telegraph Journal article about sexual abuse charges against former priest Levi Noel.
N.S. Judge Rules Driver, Owners of Vehicle Liable in Mishap that Crushed Boy
A judge of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has struck out defences filed by the driver and owners of a vehicle that severely brain injured a boy in a car accident eight years ago.
Death of woman who filed landmark lawsuit is called suspicious
Police are investigating what they described as “the suspicious death” of an aboriginal woman who successfully filed a landmark lawsuit against the federal government on behalf of residential school survivors.
Police investigate death at Bernard’s home
In the 12 years it took for Nora Bernard to win the largest class-action suit in Canadian history, she lived on an old-age pension. But the Halifax lawyer who helped her fight for fellow survivors of the residential school system said she always accepted their collect calls.
Police probe native activist’s death
Police are investigating what they’re calling the suspicious death of aboriginal rights activist Nora Bernard, whose body was found in her Truro home early Thursday morning.
Davey Paul deserved better
Eleanor Roosevelt said that you have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best you have to give.
Moncton family receives $2.9M injury settlement
A New Brunswick family has received a multimillion-dollar settlement after their son suffered brain damage during dental surgery five years ago.