Edmonton Remand Centre lawsuit angers family of stomping victim
Stomper suing province for improper accommodation and lack of medical attention
Relatives of a man stomped to death by his cellmate at the Edmonton Remand Centre are outraged by the lawsuit filed by his killer.
Barry Stewart, 59, was stomped to death by Justin Somers, 27, two years ago while in jail. Somers is now suing the province, accusing the Crown of negligence in not providing him with proper accommodation and medical attention.
"He's the criminal," said Stewart's niece Natasha Stewart. "He's the one that did the wrong. I don't understand why he's thinking he can get something out of it. That bothers me."
Somers, who was found not criminally responsible due to mental illness, is suing the province for $500,000.
Documents filed in court say medical staff recommended Somers, who was mentally ill, be housed alone, calling anything else cruel and unusual treatment.
The documents also say Somers suffered "severe mental anguish and mental distress" as a result of his role in Stewart’s death.
Stewart agrees that Somers should have been housed alone but can't understand the claim Somers' claim to being a victim.
"I"m so angry," she said. "The cruel and unusual punishment was to my uncle. He died a horrible terrible death. It was inhumane."
Barry Stewart, who had been serving one night in custody in lieu of paying a jaywalking fine, was stomped 26 times over several minutes in front of remand centre video cameras.
Civl lawyers have told Stewart that she and her sisters cannot legally hold the province responsible because they aren't immediate family members.
Now one of the lawyers approached by Stewart family is representing the man that killed him.
With files from CBC's James Hees