The mother of an inmate who died at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary last month is taking the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Attorney-General of Canada to court.
Lauren Elizabeth Laithwaite filed her statement of claim on Tuesday in Regina following the death of her 37-year-old son, Christopher Andrew Van Camp. The lawsuit stems from the death of Van Camp last month while he was serving time at the penitentiary in Prince Albert.
Prior to his death, Van Camp had been serving more than five years for a number of crimes including armed robbery, fraud, break-and-enter and theft.
The lawsuit claims Van Camp, who was recovering from a coma, was placed in a cell with an inmate with a known violent history. Tyler Vandewater has since been charged in connection to the death.
The claim argues CSC allegedly “failed to provide adequate levels of protection to prevent Mr. Van Camp from possibility of serious injury and/or death.”
“Mr. Van Camp was a vulnerable inmate who had no choice but to trust that the defendants would protect his rights, health and safety while he was in custody,” the claim states. “The CSC had a fiduciary duty to protect Mr. Van Camp, an inmate whose life it stringently controlled, regulated and monitored while he was in CSC’s custody.”
In an email to paNOW, CSC said it “was served today with the statement of claim regarding the death of Chris Van Camp while incarcerated and we are currently reviewing it.”