Baptist pastor Claude Guillot: the class action of former students rejected
The baptist Church, and Claude Guillot will not face a class-action lawsuit. The superior Court does not authorize the prosecution of a group brought by former students of the pastor who accused him of physical and psychological abuse. Each of the alleged victims will have to bring his fight individually.
“Although the situation experienced by the persons referred to in this application deserves any compassion, they may not be allowed to engage in collective action considered, since the conditions necessary for the exercise of such an appeal are not met,” writes the judge Johanne April in its decision published Monday. Thus : “The court rejects the request for permission to engage in a collective action.”
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According to the judge, the facts alleged against the pastor Guillot differ too much from a former learner to another, so a group can be formed. Also, the abuse complained of were allegedly committed in different contexts and in different places; at the school of the Church of Victoriaville for some, in the school’s underground in the basement of the residence of Quebec, the pastor for the other. During the 1980’s for the former, during the years 2000 to the other.
To explain his decision, the judge April cites the recent rejection of the class action that he wanted to lead a group of alleged victims against the founder of the Just for laughs festival, Gilbert Rozon. “The essential elements of the claims display a character unique and individualized, it is of acts and damages specific to each person, each victim, with nothing of a common exercise at all.”
The continuation group called for “the compensation of children who have been victims of abuse and of the silence of corporations of the sisters who had knowledge of the abuse committed by one of their own”, was the journalist colleague Isabelle Mathieu in September. The judge Johanne April had then heard the arguments of both parties on the authorization of the class action at the palace of justice of Quebec.
The plaintiffs hoped to obtain for themselves and for each former student of Guillot in Quebec city and Victoriaville a lump sum of $ 2 million, including $ 500,000 in punitive damages.
The ex-students wanted to pursue jointly Claude Guillot, his baptist church of Quebec, the baptist Church is an evangelical Victoriaville and the Association of churches of evangelical christian-baptists of Quebec.
Johanne April, has also rejected the class action against these institutions.
It emphasizes, however, that it bears no judgment on the merits, on the merits of the complaints. Only, the class action would not be the best vehicle for obtaining justice.
Claude Guillot must also answer criminal charges in this case.
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