Second group launches Ed Horne lawsuit

Lawyers again looking for “alternative” dispute resolution


A second group of people who say they suffered from Ed Horne’s sexual abuse while they were students at schools in Sanikiluaq, Kimmirut, Cape Dorset, Iqaluit and Grise Fiord will seek compensation from the governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Geoffrey Budden, a lawyer based in Mt. Pearl, Nfld., filed a statement of claim Feb. 5 on behalf of 68 men and one woman at the Nunavut court of justice in Iqaluit.

Horne, a well-known teacher, principal and education consultant, was convicted on two occasions of numerous charges involving the molestation of Inuit boys between 1971 and 1985.

In their lawsuit, the 69 people make the same claims set out by an earlier group of 85 claimants, who won a $21.5-million settlement from the GN and the GNWT in October 2002.

As in the first lawsuit, a court order prevents the plaintiffs’ names from being made public.

They allege that territorial government officials failed to protect them from Horne’s sexual abuse, and then failed to provide adequate care after the abuse was exposed.

They also want money, to compensate them for the damage they’ve suffered.

Budden said he hopes that issue can be settled in the same manner as the first lawsuit – through out-of-court, “alternative dispute resolution.”

“Alternative dispute resolution” is a process in which both sides in a dispute work out a friendly deal without having to fight each other in court.

Budden said each claimant is videotaped and seen by a psychologist, partly to protect the system against false claims.

“If you were to sit down and see these videotapes, you wouldn’t have a whole lot of doubt,” Budden said.

He said the governments of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories won’t be surprised by this second lawsuit. They’ve known about the likelihood of a second claim “in a general way” for about a year, Budden said.

In February 1987, Horne received a six-year jail sentence for eight charges involving 24 boys he molested between 1983 and 1985 in Kimmirut and Cape Dorset.

After Horne served that sentence and left Canada to work in Mexico, another 50 men in Sanikiluaq, Cape Dorset and Iqaluit came forward to disclose that Horne molested them between 1973 and 1982.

After pleading guilty to another 20 sex offenses Horne received a five-year jail sentence, imposed Sept. 14, 2000.

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