September 8, 2020
Bill Dick, Q.C., represented two brothers sexually abused by Father Herbert Bourne while Bourne was a priest in Vernon during the 1970s. The abuse occurred when the brothers were teenagers. Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse inflicted by people in positions of trust or power is extremely damaging. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and resolve to come forward in cases like this. The plaintiffs should be commended for taking a stand to help themselves and others who may have yet to come forward to seek help.
Murphy Battista LLP is also heartened to see that the Archdiocese of Kamloops took steps not to revictimize the plaintiffs. Instead, the Archdiocese chose a healing path and participated in an out of court settlement that included a public acknowledgement of wrongdoing and compensation.
Bill emphasized that:
“What was ultimately important in the process was the Archdiocese through its legal counsel put forward an offer that included an apology and an acknowledgement of wrongdoing,” … “It was the right decision from the Archdiocese to say we acknowledge that what happened was horrific, we acknowledge that what Father Bourne did should never have happened and it was a horrific breach of abuse and trust from someone that should be providing moral and spiritual guidance.”
Bill was also asked to comment on a recent decision from the BC Supreme Court, where the plaintiff was awarded almost $850,000 in damages because the Archdiocese of Kamloops had failed to protect her from the predatory advances of priest Father Erlindo Molon, in 1976. Bill noted that the Court’s award for pain and suffering and the inclusion of punitive damages, sends a clear message to all BC organizations that covering up wrongdoing will no longer be tolerated even when the events occurred decades ago.