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Court allows damages for residential school abuse

Canada's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that a Native man who suffered abuse at a government-sponsored residential school is entitled to damages.

The court held that the man, who was abused at age 14 by a pedophile on the Gordon First Nation in Saskatchewan, could recover some "pecuniary" damages, or lost earnings. The man was unable to find steady work and drifted into alcoholism as a result of being abused, the court said.

But the man, who is not identified by name, is not entitled all of his lost earnings because he spent part of his life in jail, a circumstance unrelated to the abuse or alcoholism, the court said. A trial judge who awarded the man $407,000 (Canadian) made "palpable and overriding errors" in setting that amount, the court said.

The court did not set an amount for damages and sent the case back for possible settlement.

Get the Story:
Supreme court boosts award for residential school victim (CBC 4/29)

Court Decision:
H.L. v. Canada (April 29, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Department -

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