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article imageChildren of serial killer Pickton's victims settle lawsuit

By Arthur Weinreb     Mar 18, 2014 in Crime
Vancouver - Lawyers for the families announced the city of Vancouver and the province of British Columbia have agreed to pay $50,000 to each of the 13 children of women murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton who was arrested in 2002.
The announcement of the settlement was made yesterday by Jason Gratl, one of the lawyers representing the families of Pickton's victims. The lawsuit began last May, alleging the murders resulted from a botched investigation into the B.C. pig farmer who police had in their sights but did not arrest, leaving him free to kill more victims. It also alleged police were negligent in not warning women in Vancouver's Eastside that there was a serial killer picking up prostitutes, taking them back to his pig farm, and then murdering them.
The claim also alleged the province and the city ignored the recommendation of Wally Oppal who conducted the Missing Women Inquiry to pay compensation to the victims' families.
The named defendants in the lawsuit are Pickton, his brother, Dave, his sister, Linda, the province and the city on behalf of various police forces as well as individual officers. The case is due back in court today and will continue against the Pickton brothers.
The DNA of 33 murdered women was found on Pickton's pig farm in Port Coquitlam after he was arrested on Feb. 22, 2002. Pickton was subsequently charged with 26 counts of first-degree murder. He was tried for six of the murders and the jury convicted him of six counts of second-degree murder on Dec. 9, 2007. He received the maximum sentence of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole for 25 years. The remaining 20 counts were stayed by the Crown.
There were 13 plaintiffs in the suit. Eleven have agreed to the terms of the settlement, one is thinking about it, and the remaining plaintiff is under 18 years of age and the settlement must be approved by the public guardian.
Gratl said most of his clients are pleased with the settlement. He said, "It's giving the children of missing women a leg up, in some small measure, to give them a chance to improve their lives, improve their prospects in the future. It was something worth doing."
But not everyone is pleased with the settlement. Troy Boen, whose mother Yvonne's DNA was discovered at Pickton's farm, wondered how you can put a price on the life of a mother. He said, "How can you put a price on someone who fed you, clothed you, took you to school, drove you here, there, everywhere? Someone you expect to be there for your entire life."
Each family member will receive $50,000 plus legal fees. According to Gratl, this was the best they could do under British Columbia law. He said damages in the province are restricted to financial loss and loss of affection. "There's no recovery for loss of life or wrongful death."
The province will hold a press conference today where it is expected compensation for other family members will be announced.
More about Robert Pickton, robert pickton lawsuit, botched criminal investigation, Rcmp
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