New lawsuit filed against EMDC and others in Kargus death
The troubled Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) is facing a new lawsuit, this time filed by the father of Adam Kargus - a Sarnia man beaten to death in his cell.
But this lawsuit - one of many filed by inmates and their families - reaches beyond just the institution itself.
It doesn't just name the government, but also seven correctional officers, five inmates and the superintendent of EMDC.
On Oct. 31st, 29-year-old Adam Kargus was beaten and bludgeoned to death. His unidentifiable body wasn't found until the next morning after it had been moved to the showers.
His former cellmate Anthony George is charged with second-degree murder, and in a provincial first, two correctional officers and a manager have also been charged, with failing to provide the necessaries of life.
Now Adam's biological father, Dennis Kargus, is seeking compensation for what happened behind bars
Lawyer Kevin Egan represents Adam's mother and siblings and is filing a separate Statement of Claim against the government in connection with the death.
"Until they fix the situation, there is going to be a continual number of these cases brought forward," he says. "People aren't supposed to die in jail. Jails are places where people are brought to deprive them of their liberty, not deprive them of their lives."
Dennis, his wife and stepdaughter are seeking a $250,000, claiming that by putting Adam in a cell with George they were putting his life at significant risk and peril, that staff failed to properly segregate inmates and failed to check on them while in custody at EMDC.
An assistant to S. Michael Robertson, the lawyer for Dennis Kargus and his family, says neither the firm nor its clients will comment on the case.
An email statement reads "As the lawsuit proceeds, the allegations as set out in the Statement of Claim shall be addressed and the evidence shall unfold.
"However, being respectful of our civil justice system, the parties to this action, and most importantly, the young deceased, Adam Kargus, no comment shall be made at this time by either Mr. Robertson or his clients."
The criminal investigation into Adam's death resulted in six individuals being charged - including three staff members at EMDC.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services has not yet completed its own internal investigation, but already seven managers and correctional officers have been suspended.
In a statement, spokesperson Brent Ross says "Given that this matter is before both the civil and criminal courts, it would be inappropriate to provide further comment."
Egan says internal investigations aren't sufficient, "It needs another set of eyes, possibly a judicial inquiry into what's going on within those four walls."
None of these claims has yet been proven in court.
The two correctional officers and manager charged in connection with the death will next appear in court on July 29th.