Ontario Superior Court Judge Permits Lawsuit to Proceed Against the Ontario Government and Defendant Doctors on Behalf of Alleged Victims of Torture in Oak Ridge Group Action

On November 29, 2013, by Order of Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court, five plaintiffs were added to the Oak Ridge group action. Rochon Genova LLP, the lawyers for the group of plaintiffs, argued a full day motion on November 22, 2013. The defendants, the Government of Ontario and the two psychiatrists involved in the program, stated that the limitations periods for medical treatment under various statutes barred the plaintiffs' claims. Counsel from Rochon Genova argued that the plaintiffs should be added because their claims did not arise out of medical treatment, but out of torture. They also stated that the decision about limitation periods should be left for a trial on a full factual record.

The defendants stated that the services provided to the plaintiffs could not have been torture because there was no bad faith or improper purpose involved. Justice Perell stated that:

"I do not see how that makes a difference about whether malpractice by reason of professional services rendered includes torture. The moral debate about whether the use of torture is justified in order to find out the truth or to save others or for national security purposes does not change torture into something else. Torture is torture."

Please click here for a copy of Justice Perell's decision.