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Wednesday 3 June 2009

Canada: Fourth woman sues Carl Leone, the police and the health department for not protecting her from HIV

Carl Leone, the Canadian who was sentenced to 18 years in prison in April 2008 after being found guilty of infecting five women with HIV and exposing ten further women, now has four of the HIV-positive complainants suing him – as well as the Windsor Police Services Board and the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit – in civil proceedings.

I reported a lawsuit from two of the women in January. Now, according to an article in the Windsor Star, a woman in her late twenties, known as A.P. has also launched a CAD$10-million lawsuit alongside an earlier, unreported lawsuit "launched on behalf of a woman known as 'Jane Roe' who reportedly met Leone when she was a 16-year-old virgin."

All four women are "represented by high profile local law firm Sutts, Strosberg LLP."

The paper reports

According to the latest statement of claim, A.P. had a sexual relationship with Leone for about nine months in 2003 and 2004, during which time Leone never informed her of his HIV-positive status. The claim says A.P. had vaginal, anal and oral sex with Leone and that he eventually insisted they not use condoms. "Carl repeatedly advised A.P. that he was not infected with HIV or any sexually transmitted disease," the claim states. The claim posits that Leone's actions constitute assault and battery against A.P. The claim further suggests that the police services board is liable for the negligence of officers who "failed to take timely and reasonable steps to investigate and arrest" Leone despite knowledge of the danger to the public he posed.

According to the statement of claim, a Windsor police detective was aware of allegations of Leone's HIV-status as early as 2000. The claim says a woman who was once Leone's fiancee contacted police on more than 100 occasions to tell them Leone was HIV-positive and having unprotected sex with other women. The lawsuit suggests that the health unit knew about Leone's activities even earlier -- in or about 1998. The lawsuit names the health unit as liable for failing to warn the public about Leone, failing to report him to police, and other forms of negligence."They failed to report Carl to the WPSB because of a personal relationship with Carl and/or his family," the claim states.

Like the other lawsuits, this latest one seeks $9 million in general damages and $1 million in special, aggravated or punitive damages -- plus interest and legal costs.


Anonymous said...

The very disturbing thing about such a lawsuit is that it gives the Police then a reason to publish the names and pictures of anyone that is accused. I'd far rather see a lawsuit against the local Health Department for not imposing a forced detention of someone with a communicable disease and thereby failing in upholding there responsibility to the community. Replace HIV+ with TB in this case and we wouldn't be looking at the police failure but instead the failure of the local Health Board.


Just Bentley said...

And see, here I'd been thinking that a civil suit would be a more appropriate response than criminalization; at least with a civil suit, the "victim" is compensated. Reading this does have me doing a re-think.
I suppose I'd have to know better what actions the Health Department might reasonably have taken, or been expected to take.


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