A prominent Kitchener lawyer launches a massive lawsuit against police
CTV News exclusive: A massive lawsuit involving Kitchener Defence lawyer Hal Mattson and Waterloo Regional police.
Published Monday, November 26, 2012 6:09PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 26, 2012 7:14PM EST
Prominent Kitchener Defence lawyer Hal Mattson is launching a massive lawsuit against Waterloo Regional Police.
Mattson is seeking damages for the way he was arrested on obstruction of justice charges, and the way the investigation was conducted.
Two years ago, Hal Mattson was charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly influencing witness testimony.
The case was committed tor trial but a superior justice ruled that taken in context, Mattson hadn’t done or said anything illegal. He brought the proceedings to an end.
Mattson has now launched a civil suit.
He’s seeking damages of two million dollars for defamation, special damages of one million dollars, further and in the alternative damages of two million dollars pursuant to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and a half of a million in punitive damages.
Mattson says he was taken into custody at a Tim Horton’s across from the courthouse and taken to Division one and questioned for over three hours.
The statement of claim alleges Mattson at no time posted a danger and was wrongfully arrested, detained and confined.
Mattson says the arrest was motivated by malice or a purpose other than that of carrying the law into effect and that the method of arrest was a grossly excessive use of force. He also adds that their interaction with the plaintiff was threatening, aggressive, intimidating and over-reaching.
The statement of claim was filed at Superior Court. It names the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Police Services Board, Chief Matt Torigian and seven other officers.
Police say there’s not much they can say at this time because the matter is before the courts. But they do tell CTV News, an outside law firm has been hired to review the matter. They have at least 30 days from November 9th to respond.
The case could take months to get to trial.
“I’m not a civil lawyer so these matters take a long time,” says Mattson. “There’s discovery and discovery of witnesses and then the matter just goes through the civil courts.”
The statement of claim also says Mattson suffered severe emotional distress, loss of self-esteem, humiliation and embarrassment.
None of these allegations have been proven in court. The parties named in the action could get more than 30 days to file a statement of defence, if both sides agree to it.