Nova Scotia

Former paramedic suing Nova Scotia ambulance operator

A former paramedic has launched a civil lawsuit against the company which operates the ambulance service in Nova Scotia, alleging it failed to protect her from sexual assaults and sexual harassment from her immediate supervisor.

Woman alleges supervisor sexually harrassed and assaulted her at Chéticamp station

Emergency Medical Care Inc. operates the ambulance service in Nova Scotia. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

A former paramedic has launched a civil lawsuit against the company which operates the ambulance service in Nova Scotia.

She's alleging Emergency Medical Care Inc. was negligent in failing to adequately protect her from sexual assaults and sexual harassment from her immediate supervisor.

None of her allegations has been tested in court. Because they include allegations of sexual assault, CBC News is not identifying the woman.

According to her lawyer, Michael Dull, she was just 21 in 2001 when she started work at the paramedic station in Chéticamp in Cape Breton.

In the lawsuit, the woman alleges her supervisor sexually harassed and assaulted her over a four-year period before she finally quit the profession. The allegations include that he forced her to pose for sexually provocative photographs which he kept for himself.

"To ask a young female at the start of the career to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct by an established supervisor is very difficult," Dull said Wednesday.

"It has taken my client this much time to build the courage to speak her truth; she's now a mom for her children. To be exposed to this type of behaviour and now is taking these, in my view, very courageous steps to protect other young women in environments that she was placed in."

Dull said Emergency Medical Care should be held vicariously liable for the actions of the supervisor, who retired from the profession more than 11 years ago.

The company is refusing any comment while the matter is before the courts.

Nova Scotia RCMP say they received a complaint in June of last year about a sexual assault allegation at the Chéticamp paramedic station. Cpl. Mark Skinner said the matter is still under investigation and no charges have been laid.

now