A teacher who was blinded in a school shooting in La Loche says she’s considering a lawsuit after receiving what she called inadequate compensation for her pain and suffering.
Charlene Klyne was shot with a shotgun during the shooting at the Dene High School in La Loche on Jan. 22, 2016. The then-17-year-old shooter killed brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine at their home before killing a teacher and teaching assistant at the school and injuring seven other people.
The shooter has since pleaded guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder, and was handed a life sentence.
On Wednesday, Saskatchewan Ombudsman Mary McFadyen announced she had completed her investigation into the supports Klyne was provided after the shooting and declined to make any recommendations to the Workers’ Compensation Board or Ministry of Justice.
“Through no fault of her own, Ms. Klyne was badly injured at work in a horrific event,” McFadyen said in a statement.
“We looked at the government agencies within our jurisdiction and found they provided her the supports that were within their authority to provide.”
The benefits provided to Klyne did not include compensation for pain and suffering, the obmudsman’s statement noted.
Klyne said she has spoken with a lawyer about a potential lawsuit together with other victims of the shooting. Although no statement of claim has been filed with the courts at this stage, Klyne said she has every intention of proceeding.
“I’m going forward with this class-action,” she said. “Ninety per cent of the victims are on board as far as I know.”
Klyne, who now lives in Saskatoon, said she feels she was not properly supported after the shooting. Although she received funds through the Workers’ Compensation Board, she said money is still very tight and her expenses have increased substantially.
“They help, but I don’t think they help enough,” she said.
Klyne said her husband has also been unable to work since the shooting, and the couple supports a 34-year-old son with special needs and a 21-year-old son who is attending university.
She is still awaiting a cornea transplant, she said, and has numerous shotgun pellets still lodged inside her body which cause her to suffer from speech difficulties and other issues.
Klyne would not say who she intends to name as defendants in the lawsuit, but said it would likely be multiple groups.