Families of the victims of the Nova Scotia mass shooting have amended their proposed class-action lawsuit to add a new accusation against the RCMP.
They allege the RCMP allowed a deceased victim’s body to remain inside a vehicle while it was towed from a crime scene so it could be collected and analyzed as evidence, “rather than ensuring that the body was first removed and cared for in the appropriate manner before the vehicle was seized.”
Sandra McCulloch, a lawyer with Patterson Law in Truro, N.S., who is representing the families, said the vehicle mentioned in the amendment relates to Joey Webber, who was killed by the shooter while he went out to run an errand for his family on the morning of April 19.
Webber was one of 22 people killed by a gunman dressed like an RCMP officer during a rampage that started in Portapique, N.S., on April 18 and continued through several other rural communities the next morning.
Two of the victim’s families launched the proposed class-action lawsuit against the RCMP in June. It covers a range of criticisms previously raised about the tragedy, including police communication, staffing levels and notification of families.
It also alleges a vehicle seized as evidence was later released to a family with human remains still inside.
McCulloch confirmed the vehicle mentioned in the recent amendment is not the same vehicle that was allegedly returned with remains inside.
Nova Scotia named defendant
McCulloch said the amended class action has also formally named the province of Nova Scotia as a defendant in the case.
“The intention all along was to add the province as a defendant but under the law in Nova Scotia, in order to sue the province you have to give them formal notice of the claim that you intend to bring against them,” she said.
That period of notice has since expired.
Both amendments to the proposed class-action lawsuit were submitted on Tuesday.
McCulloch says her team has also spent the last few months collecting information and footage from the public.
The class-action lawsuit must be approved by a judge before it can proceed to trial and none of the allegations have been proven in court.