Friday, May 29, 2009

Quebec Government sues parents for $16 M for a criminal fire their kids started

The Quebec government is suing the four parents of two boys guilty of setting fire to a school in Berthierville. The offices, the gymnasium and the auditorium had to be rebuilt at great cost to the school board. The Quebec government is asking for $16 million in damages, including accumulating interest payments.

At the time, the boys were 16 years old. They were intoxicated and entered the school by night and set fire to it, causing thousands of students to relocate, in January 2007.

The boys are now adults, but cannot be identified due to Canada's Young Offenders' Act. They are also named as defendants in the lawsuit. They pleaded guilty to the crime in Youth Court, and served three and seven months respectively (the article doesn't say, but I imagine it must have been in a detention centre).

The lawsuit says that the parents are responsible for the damages created by their kids. Quebec law says parents are responsible unless it can be proven that they are not at fault. It also states that if it can be proved that the parent raised the child inadequately, he can be liable.

Interesting case. Maybe more parents would pay attention to their kids if they knew the potential consequences.