Last year a man that was sexually abused by notorious sexual abuser, Cesar Lalo was awarded $375,000.00 in compensation for sexual abuse committed by Lalo when the man was just 13 years old. See Lalo Sexual Abuse Victim Awarded $375,000.00
Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Heather Robertsion ordered that the province of Nova Scotia pay the man because the abuse happened when lalo was employed as a probation officer. Lalo used his power over the boy to commit his sexual assaults.
Lalo was declared a long-term offender as a result of his multiple sexual abuse convictions, and his failure to accept responsibility or show remorse for his actions.
Now CBC news has reported that the abuse survivor, who can only be identified as L.M.M. has filed an appeal of his compensation award, claiming it is too low. The province of Nova Scotia, not surprisingly, has filed an appeal claiming the award was too high.
Robertson J. awarded the victim $125,0000.00 for non-pecuniary damages for “pain and suffering” and $250,000.00 for past and future income loss.
I have been representing victims of childhood sexual abuse for 20 years. there is one thing that I am very clear about before I agree to represent any abuse victim. No amount of money is enough to compensate someone for being sexually abused. no amount of money will erase what happened or make them forget their abuse. Financial compensation is simply the only means that the courts have to provide some measure of justice.
That being said, it will be interesting to see what the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal does with this appeal. The median damage award for non-pecuniary damages for sexual abuse across Canada is roughly $125,000.00. Which is just what L.M.M. was awarded. Income losses are fact specific to each case and depend almost entirely on the assumptions made by the economic experts put forward by the parties.
The issue of the province’s vicarious liability wasn’t really at issue in this case. So I look forward to seeing what error of law the parties will point to for the basis of their respective appeals.