Number of accusers doubles in deceased Temiskaming doctor case

More than twenty people have now come forward in a civil suit against a deceased Temiskaming doctor.
(Canadian Press)

More than twenty people have now come forward in a civil suit against a deceased Temiskaming doctor.

Dr. PJ Pace died in a collision with a transport truck on Highway 11 just over a year ago. The number of complainants has more than doubled in the last eight months.

Their lawyer, Justin Linden, said all are former patients who allege Pace touched them sexually while they were in the emergency room or in Pace's office in the hospital.

Linden said it's hard for complainants to come forward, but some find comfort in numbers.

“I think they realize that, when they hear that other people have come forward with the same complaint they have, they're more comfortable standing up and identifying themselves,” he said.

“So I think that's what's happened. I think they realize they are truly not alone.”

The defendants include the Temiskaming Hospital and Dr. Pace's widow.

Lawyers for all have denied the accusations.

An investigation by provincial police during the doctor's lifetime ended with no charges.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons was investigating Dr. Pace but that probe halted with his death.

Linden said the alleged incidents stretch over a period exceeding 10 years.

He expects to question the defendants in the case next month.

“Civil litigation works because parties are forced to come and tell their story and provide evidence and facts, evidence that sometimes they like and sometimes they don't like,” Linden said.

The procedure will be reversed sometime in the future, with the defendants questioning the complainants, he noted.