This is just another thing that I believe he thinks was wrong against him. I wonder when everything will kick in and he realizes "Oh my god, what did I do to these people?"
Disgraced forensic pathologist Dr. Charles Smith -- whose faulty testimony landed many innocent people in jail in
The suit comes after a 2006 tribunal ruled the health authority was "unfair, unreasonable and wrong" when it denied Smith hospital privileges in Saskatoon, cutting short a one-year contract to work as a surgical pathologist at Saskatoon City Hospital.
"There was no just cause for the dismissal of the plaintiff, nor has reasonable notice been provided, nor has the plaintiff been paid in lieu of reasonable notice," says Smith's statement of claim filed in
Last month at the inquiry, Smith apologized repeatedly for his conduct, saying he had "woefully inadequate" training in child forensic pathology when he began doing autopsies on children who had died suspiciously.
He admitted that he had sloppy work habits and procrastinated, that he contributed to a miscarriage of justice, that he fabricated a tale about a judge who disagreed with his conclusions and that when he testified as an expert witness, he thought he was supposed to be on the Crown's side, not an independent scientist.
A review of Smith's work, which prompted the inquiry, found Smith made significant errors in 20 of 45 suspicious child deaths he helped investigate between 1991 and 2001. In 12 of those cases, people were criminally convicted.
One man was wrongfully convicted and served 12 years in jail for the rape and killing of his niece. William Mullins-Johnson was acquitted of the crime in October, and Smith offered him an emotional apology at the inquiry.
When scrutiny of Smith's work intensified in 2005, he left
With no hospital privileges, the health region terminated his contract in December 2005.
Smith appealed the board's decision to a rarely used provincial tribunal, and in November 2006, the tribunal ruled the regional health authority made a mistake by denying Smith privileges.
The tribunal said it would have ordered the health region to reinstate Smith, except his licence to practise medicine in the province had expired by then.
Bryan Salte, associate registrar with the
Salte said it "would be extremely unlikely" Smith practised medicine during that time, since he would have to be employed by a health region to work in his specialty. Several
Smith is paying $300 a year for an "inactive" licence in
James Winkel, a spokesperson with the Saskatoon Health Region, says Smith has since applied for two job postings for anatomic pathologists in
"He's a pediatric pathologist so the qualifications didn't fit the positions," Winkel said.
Evert van Olst, legal counsel for the health region, said he could not comment on Smith's suit because the region has not yet been formally served with a statement of claim.
"This is the first I've heard about it," van Olst said. "I'm assuming that he issued it out of some kind of abundance of caution, and maybe doesn't have an intention of serving it."
The tribunal never gave the health region a solution to deal with Smith's "unfair" treatment, van Olst said.
Smith could not be reached for comment, nor could his lawyer, Bainbridge.
In his suit, Smith is asking the health region for damages, including loss of salary, employment benefits, stipends, professional stature and emotional stress. He's also claiming damages "exceeding $50,000."
People prosecuted and sent to jail because of Smith's forensic conclusions have said their lives were devastated by his sloppy work.
In 1997, Louise Reynolds was charged with second-degree murder in the stabbing death of her seven-year-old daughter. She spent nearly two years in jail awaiting trial before the Crown prosecutor withdrew the charge. A forensic expert from the
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