Pembroke Diocese Statement of Defence and Crossclaim against Bernard Prince

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The following is the text of the Statement of the Diocese of Pembroke’s Statement of Defence and Cross-claim against ex-priest and convicted molester Bernard Prince of the Diocese of Pembroke, Ontario.  The name of the victim/plaintiff, a former altar boy and parishioner,  has been replaced with [XXXXX]

……………………………………………….

Court File No, 08-406

ONTARIO
SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE

BETWEEN:   

[XXXXX]

Plaintiff

AND:

BERNARD AMBROSE PRINCE
and
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC EPISCOPAL CORPORATION OF THE
DIOCESE OF PEMBROKE IN ONTARIO

Defendants

STATEMENT OF DEFENCE AND CROSSCLAIM OF THE DEFENDANT
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC EPISCOPAL CORPORATION
OF THE DIOCESE OF PEMBROKE IN ONTARIO

I,     The Defendant the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Pembroke in Ontario(hereinafter the “Diocese”) denies each and very allegation contained in the Statement of Claim, except as hereinafter expressly admitted. The Diocese particularly denies that the Plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought in paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Statement of Claim, except with respect to paragraph 2(c) of the Statement of Claim.

(2) The Diocese has no knowledge in respect of the allegations contained in paragraph 3 of the Statement of Claim.
(3) The Diocese states that, as the alleged abuse by the Defendant Bernard Prince (“Prince”) of the Plaintiff  [XXXXX] is alleged to have occurred in or about 1963, the action here is

 

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amended and its predecessor legislation. The balance of the allegations contained herein are pleaded in the alternative.

4. The Diocese further pleads and relies upon the equitable doctrine of laches. The balance of the allegations contained herein are pleaded in the alternative.
5. The Diocese states that, if Prince abused [XXXXX] sexually or otherwise as  described in the Statement of Claim, which is not admitted but denied, it is not vicariously liable for the said abuse. In particular, the Diocese states:

(a)       the alleged assaults were independent acts committed by Prince solely for his personal gratification and pursuant to his personal agenda;

(b)   the alleged assaults were neither authorized by the Diocese nor were they improper modes of doing acts authorized by the Diocese;

(c)    the alleged assaults were neither consistent with Prince’s duties nor contemplated by the nature of his employment or agency and, therefore, had not connection therewith;

(d)    [XXXXX] was never in the care of the Diocese;

(e) neither the Diocese nor Prince were in a parent-type relationship with [XXXXX]

(f) Prince was not in a trusting and intimate relationship with [XXXXX] and he did not hold

power over [XXXXX]

 (g) [XXXXX] returned to his parents’ home and their care after any contact with Prince;

(h)   the alleged assaults were inimical and antithetical to the aims of the Diocese;

(i)     the Diocese’s overriding objective was to assist in the spiritual development of its parishioners;

 

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 (j) the Diocese is a charitable organization serving a historical and crucial role in the community without in any way creating or enhancing the risk that parishioners or others will be assaulted by its employees or agents; and

(k) there are no compelling policy considerations to justify imposing liability on the Diocese.

6. The Diocese denies the allegations of negligence made as against it in the Statement of Claim. The Diocese states that, if it owed any duties and/or obligations to the Plaintiff, which is not admitted but denied, the Diocese exercised such skill and care as in all the circumstances was reasonable. As such, the Diocese states that it fully satisfied any such obligations and/or duties that it may have owed to the Plaintiff.

7.  The Diocese denies the allegations that it owed a special duty to [XXXXX] as alleged in paragraph 29 of the Statement of Claim. The Diocese states that, if it owed any duties and/or obligations to [XXXXX] which is not admitted but denied, the Diocese exercised such skill and care as in all the circumstances was reasonable. As such, the Diocese states that it fully satisfied any such obligations and/or duties that it may have owed to [XXXXX]
8.   The Diocese denies the applicability of the Occupier’s Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.0.2 as amended and any predecessor legislation to the action herein. In the alternative, the Diocese states that, if the Occupier’s Liability Act is found to apply to the action herein, it satisfied any and all obligations and/or duties that it may have owed to the Plaintiff

9.  The Diocese denies that the Plaintiff suffered any losses, injuries, and/or damages as alleged in the Statement of Claim and puts the Plaintiff to the strict proof thereof.

 

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10.  In the alternative, if the Plaintiff has suffered any losses, injuries, and/or damages, which is not admitted but denied, the Diocese denies that such losses, injuries, and/or damages were caused by or are in any way the result of any acts undertaken or omissions made by it.
11. In the alternative, the Diocese states that any losses, injuries, and/or damages claimed are exaggerated, remote, and unforeseeable and the Plaintiff has failed to mitigate same. In particular, the Diocese states that, if the Plaintiff has sustained any losses, injuries, and/or damages as alleged, which is not admitted but denied, the Plaintiff failed to mitigate same by obtaining proper medical care, rehabilitation, counselling, and other suitable and appropriate treatment which was available to him.
12. The Diocese states that, if the Plaintiff has suffered any losses, injuries, and/or damages, which is not admitted but denied, such losses, injuries, and/or damages relate to incidents which pre-date or post-date those described in the Statement of Claim.
13. The Diocese specifically denies that its conduct in the matters alleged in the Statement of Claim or otherwise was such that aggravated, punitive, and/or exemplary damages ought to be awarded to the Plaintiff.
14. The Diocese therefore submits that the action herein be dismissed as against it with costs on a substantial indemnity basis.

CROSSCLAIM

15.  The Diocese claims as against Prince:

a.  contribution and indemnity in respect of any sums it may be required to pay to the Plaintiff;

b.  its costs of the action herein on a substantial indemnity basis;

 

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c.  its costs of the crossclaim herein on a substantial indemnity basis;
d.  pre-judgment and post-judgment interest pursuant to the Courts of Justice Act; and
e.  such further and other relief as to this Honourable Court may deem just.

16. The Diocese repeats and relies upon the allegations contained in the Statement of Defence.

17. The Diocese denies that it has any responsibility in law to the Plaintiff. However, if this Honourable Court requires the Diocese to pay any monies to the Plaintiff, it claims indemnity, or alternatively, contribution from Prince pursuant to the provisions of the Negligence Act, R.S.O. 0, c. N.1.

18. The Diocese states that, if the Plaintiff has suffered any losses, injuries, and/or  damages, which is not admitted but denied, such losses, injuries, and/or damages were caused or contributed to by the negligence and/or intentional tortuous conduct of Prince.

19. The Diocese pleads and relies upon the provisions of the Negligence Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.N.1

20. The Diocese proposes that this crossclaim be tried together with the main action.

Date: October 9, 2009

VINCENT DAGENAIS GIBSON LLP/s.r.l. Barristers & Solicitors600-325 Dalhousie Street

Ottawa,Ontario

K1N 7G2

Charles M. Gibson (LSUC #24750E)

Solicitors for the Defendant, The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Pembroke

(613) 241-2701 (tel)

(613) 241-2599 (fax)

 

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TO: LEDROIT BECKETT

Litigation Lawyers

630 Richmond StreetLondon,Ontario

N6A 3G6

P.M. LEDROIT (LSUC #12470Q) R.P.M. TALACH (LSUC#45130J) Solicitors for the Plaintiff

(519) 637-4994 (tel)

(519) 432-1660 (fax)

AND

TO:  OGILVY RENAULT LLP
Barristers & Solicitors

1500 – 45 O’Connor StreetOttawa,ONKIP 1A4

Matthew Halpin

Tel: (613) 780-8661 Fax: (613) 230-5459 Lawyers for the Defendant,

Bernard Prince

 

and                                                                  BERNARD AIVIBROSE PRINCE ET AL.

Defendants

Court File No. 08-406

SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE Proceedings commenced at Pembroke

STATEMENT OF DEFENCE AND CROSSCLAIM
OF THE DEFENDANT ROMAN CATHOLIC
EPISCOPAL CORPORATION OF
THE DIOCESE OF PEMBROKE OF ONTARIO

VINCENT DAGENAIS GIBSON LLP/s5.1 Barristers & Solicitors

600-325 Dalhousie Street

Ottawa,Ontario

K1N 7G2

Charles M. Gibson LSUC#24750E

(613) 241-2701 (tel.) (613) 241-2599 (fax)

Lawyers for the Defendant,

The Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Pembroke inOntario

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