Sunday, February 1, 2009

$20M Leone civil suit filed

On April 27, 2007, Carl Leone of Windsor, Ontario pleaded guilty to 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault for having unprotected sex with several women and not revealing he was HIV positive. Leone was sentenced to 18 years in prison. On January 29, 2009, two of his victims launched a $20 million lawsuit against Leone, the Windsor Police Services Board and the Windsor Essex County Health Unit. According to the Windsor Star, the lawsuit alleges that police failed to investigate Leone in a reasonable, diligent and timely manner and that they failed to warn the public when they became aware of his activities. For a discussion of the police duty to investigate a crime or complaint with due care, see Hill v. Hamilton-Wentworth (Regional Municipality) Police Services Board [2007] 3S.C.R. 129. The Hill case dealt with the duty owed to a suspect and although the Court recognized the duty they found there was no breach of the duty on the particular facts of this case. For a case which involves an action by a victim for the failure of the police to properly investigate a crime, see Mooney v. British Columbia (Attorney General)[2004] 10 W.W.R. 286 9B.C.C.A.). Again, although the Court recognized the existence of the duty, the action failed. The Court of Appeal held that there was a lack of proof of causation between the failure of the police to properly investigate and the subsequent commission of the crime. For a discussion of the police duty to warn potential victims see Jane Doe v. Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality) Commissioners of Police (1998), 160 D.L.R. (4th) 697 (Ont. Gen. Div.).  

Posted by Professor Wilson

1 comment:

  1. This is a really interesting case. I wonder what people think of the potential for success in the Leone case given the precedents?