Ridout Barron


Litigation sought against government officials

In a lawsuit that he filed, a former Calgary pathologist claims that the chief medical examiner and other government officials tried to destroy his medical career. The civil litigation for $30 million further claims that the group reviewed 14 of his cases in an effort to slander him. A 25-page list of a host of complaints against the government officials who tried to discredit the pathologist says that the plaintiff could no longer practice in his chosen career field because of the actions of the defendants.

The charges against the officials have not yet been substantiated. However, an Alberta court did find serious problems with the handling of the group review. A justice explained that the pathologist was not given the opportunity to respond in the case and that the overall information was not complete. One of the cases involved shaken baby syndrome, and the plaintiff claimed that the allegations in the review were inaccurate.

Further complaints against the pathologist included an abuse of public office. The plaintiff was an assistant chief medical examiner for 13 months during 2010 and 2011. There were also claims that he was incompetent and that his work was a miscarriage of justice. The pathologist stated that the defamation was carried out deliberately and maliciously so that his career would be destroyed.

While a public official's actions are open to scrutiny, government officials cannot deliberately and openly attack staff members without facing possible sanctions. Those who have experienced a similar situation may also attempt to file a claim against a group of people if there was a malicious intent to slander the individual.

Source: Sun News Network, "Calgary chief medical examiner named in $30m lawsuit", Kevin Martin, February 21, 2014

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Ridout Barron

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