A Vancouver man is suing the Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada over sexual abuses alleged to have taken place when he was a child at the former Hope Chapel Christian School in Lumby.
In a notice of civil claim filed in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver on Sept. 13, Tony Lynne Appleby alleges John Taylor, a supervisor and/or principal at the school in the 1970s, abused his position of power and authority to commit sexual abuse, battery, and assault.
Appleby says the church was responsible for running programs at the school and presented Taylor as a "trusted authority figure" who, starting in 1977 and '78 preyed upon the "young, vulnerable and in need of guidance" boy.
Appleby claims Taylor used his position of authority to ensure that the plaintiff did not tell anyone about his wrongdoing.
"In order to facilitate abuses, the perpetrator engaged in a pattern of behaviour which was intended to make the plaintiff feel that it was unsafe to report the wrongdoings," the statement of claim alleges.
It says the breach of the duty inflicted pain and suffering, mental suffering, humiliation, and degradation upon Appleby for Taylor's gratification.
The claim states the church had the duty to "inspect and/or investigate when they knew, or ought to have known, that sexual abuse was happening" and was "willfully blind" to the existence of the wrongful behaviours.
It says the church failed to protect the plaintiff and breached a special duty to counsel, guide and render assistance once it became aware of the accusations, and thus is vicariously liable.
The claim says Appleby suffered pain, stress, humiliation, degradation, shame, depression, psychological injuries, sexual dysfunction, loss of enjoyment of life, the inability to develop and engage in normal human relations, nightmares, and more.
It seeks unspecified general, special, punitive, and aggravated damages, plus interest and past and future costs of health care.
"The injuries have caused and continue to cause the plaintiff pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, loss of physical, mental, and emotional health, loss of earnings, past and prospective, loss of competitive advantage, loss of opportunity to earn income, loss of income earning capacity, loss of interdependency, and a shortened working life," the claim states.