Administrative law – Prisons – Dangerous prisoners – Duty to protect – Duty to warn
Farrows-Shelley v. Canada,  F.C.J. No. 574, Federal Court of Canada – Trial Division, April 8, 2003, Aronovitch, Prothonotary
The court quoted the decision of Jane Doe v. Metropolitan Toronto (Municipality) Commissioners of Police,  O.J. No. 2681, wherein the court stated:
In my view, the police failed utterly in their duty to protect these women and the plaintiff in particular from the serial rapist the police knew to be in their midst by failing to warn so that they may have had the opportunity to take steps to protect themselves.
The court held that such a duty to warn was merely one element of the duty to protect, and that no warning was warranted in the circumstances.
CSC’s policy that an inmate’s medical information should be treated as private personal information, and that the right to privacy be balanced with the protection of the prison population, was considered by the court.
The action was dismissed, with the court finding the CSC did not have a duty to warn Farrows-Shelley, as he had not discharged the onus of proving the fundamental elements required to found a duty to warn, namely a clear and foreseeable danger to him in sharing a cell with Welch, that would have been known to CSC.
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