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Former Kelowna RCMP 911 dispatcher's proposed class action lawsuit fails

Proposed class action fails

A proposed class-action lawsuit filed by a former Kelowna RCMP civilian employee over “systemic bullying” has been thrown out by the Federal Court.

Dustin McMillan filed a lawsuit in 2021 alleging bullying, harassment and intimidation while he worked in Kelowna as a 911 police dispatcher between 2003 and 2008.

According to a Federal Court ruling from December published this week, the Crown was mostly successful in having the civil claim struck.

Justice Michael D. Manson ruled the courts had no jurisdiction over any of the allegations after 2005, as those could be grieved through federal labour relations law.

Justice Manson ruled that he had jurisdiction only over a class action suit that covered temporary civilian employees of the Kelowna operational communications centre between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2005.

And using those dates, the statute of limitations for the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit has expired.

“Based on his pleading and affidavit, the plaintiff’s individual claim has definitively expired,” Justice Manson ruled.

“The plaintiff alleges that the reason behind the delay in bringing an action was that he was managing the mental consequences of the bullying, intimidation, and harassment,” Manson continued.

“Taken at face value, this suggests to me the plaintiff was well aware of the harm caused by the alleged harassment very soon after the harassment began. The plaintiff says that it was only when he was able to regain his emotional strength that he decided to pursue the claim. Unfortunately, the emotional fortitude of the plaintiff is not a relevant factor in assessing limitations.”

“Therefore, the plaintiff’s personal claim is definitively expired, he is not anchored in the proceeding, and he cannot adequately represent the interests of the class.”

Justice Manson struck all the claims in the lawsuit without leave to amend with an exception of allegations related to temporary civilian employees of the Kelowna operational communications centre between January 1, 2003 and March 31, 2005.



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