RCMP issues formal denial in harassment lawsuit
The RCMP is denying a series of allegations in a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a Vancouver Mountie.
The force filed a statement of defence earlier this month in a case involving Const. Karen Katz, who launched a lawsuit in January alleging years of bullying and eventually sexual harassment from one of her colleagues.
Katz's lawsuit, which contains unproven allegations, claimed Corp. Baldev (David) Singh Bamra complained about her to other officers, engaged in inappropriate roughhousing and on one occasion pinned Katz on a desk and pushed his genitals against her.
The federal government's statement of defence insists Katz never complained to her superiors until April 2011, when an investigation was launched.
If the plaintiff was dissatisfied with any administrative decisions or actions of [an] RCMP member or a responsible officer, the plaintiff was obliged and had opportunities to grieve those in a timely way," says the statement, filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Oct. 15.
The statement of defence accuses Katz, who says she suffers from post-traumatic stress, of failing to follow medical advice.
In an interview, Katz said the RCMP's statement of defence was predictable.
"I'm not surprised at their response, because it's typical: deny, deny, deny," she said.
Katz said the RCMP's position that she should have filed a grievance, not a lawsuit, was unreasonable.
"It [the RCMP's grievance process] is ineffective, but you wouldn't file a grievance for a sexual assault," she said.
Katz also launched a second lawsuit in July, alleging more widespread harassment and abuse, but no statement of defence has been filed in that case.