Mother sues government over son’s death in Saskatchewan Penitentiary

The Canadian Press
July 21, 2017
By The Canadian Press
PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — The mother of a man who was killed while serving time in the Saskatchewan Penitentiary has launched a lawsuit against the federal government.

Lauren Laithwaite alleges her son, Christopher Van Camp, 37, was medically vulnerable and should not have been put in a cell within reach of a violent inmate.

Tyler Vandewater is charged with second-degree murder in Van Camp’s death.

Laithwaite’s lawsuit names the Correctional Service Canada and the federal attorney general.

Van Camp had been serving a more than five-year prison sentence for armed robbery, fraud, committing theft, and break and enter.

Laithwaite has said her son was paroled on April 24 and returned to Calgary with conditions that he couldn’t use alcohol or drugs, but within a month he had relapsed and overdosed.

Laithwaite has said he ended up on life support and spent five days in a coma, but the day after he awoke guards arrested him for breaching his condition prohibiting drug use and he was taken to the prison in Prince Albert, Sask.

Laithwaite has said her son battled drug addiction for most of his life.

“I want the government to acknowledge, I want accountability and most of all I want change,” she told CTV News.

The statement of claim was filed Monday and says Laithwaite is seeking an unspecified amount in constitutional, aggravated and punitive damages.

It alleges that the Correctional Service of Canada failed to meet the required standard of care; committed battery by re-arresting Van Camp; and failed to police the prison’s internal drug economy that allowed her son to continue using drugs while incarcerated.

A spokesperson for CSC told CTV News it is currently reviewing the statement of claim, which has not been proven in court.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2017

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