THE QUEEN’S BENCH

WINNIPEG CENTRE

 

 

BETWEEN:                                                                                                                  

 

ROMA ELIZABETH HART,

 

                                                                                                                                                                       Plaintiff,

-and-

 

 

ALLAN BAKER,

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                      Defendant,

 

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF CLAIM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roma Hart

Townhouse 27

937 Greencrest Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba

R3T 4S8

 

204-275-5723

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE QUEEN’S BENCH

WINNIPEG CENTRE

 

Between:

 

ROMA ELIZABETH HART,

                                                                                                 Plaintiff,

 

-and-

 

 

ALLAN BAKER,

                                                                                                                 Defendant,

 

 

To the Defendant

 

      A LEGAL PROCEEDING HAS BEEN COMMENCED AGAINST you by the Plaintiff. The claim made against you is set out in the following pages.

 

      IF YOU WISH TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING, you or a Manitoba lawyer acting for you must prepare a Statement of Defence in form 18A prescribed by the Queen’s Bench Rules, serve it on the Plaintiff’s lawyer and file it in this court, WITHIN 20 DAYS after this Statement of Claim is served on you., if you are served in Manitoba.

 

If you are served in another province or territory of Canada or in the United States of America, the period for serving and filing your Statement of Defence is 40 days. If you are served outside Canada and the United States, the period is 60 days.

 

IF YOU FAIL TO DEFEND THIS PROCEEDING, JUDGEMENT MAY BE GIVEN AGAINST YOU IN YOUR ABSENCEAND WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE TO YOU.

 

 

March   7, 2006                       Issued by: _____________________________________

                                                                    Deputy Registrar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO:  Allan Baker

 

         Winnipeg, Canada

 

 

CLAIM

 

1.    The Plaintiff claims:

 

                  a)    General damages;

                  b)    Special Damages in an amount to be proven;

                  c)    Interest;

                  d)    Costs;

                  e)    Aggravated damages;

                  f)    Punitive damages.

 

2.    The Plaintiff is a Graduate Student of the University of Manitoba and she resides in the city of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba.

 

3.    The Defendant is a lawyer practicing as a legal aid lawyer and he resides in Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba.

 

4.    At all material times the Defendant resided at and conducted a legal practice at the city of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba.

 

5.    A letter dated July 8, 1997 to my first lawyer Dale Fedorchuk from my only medical expert Dr.Bodkin outlining the expense and chronic fundraising difficulties that I was experiencing in sustaining my lawsuit. (See Appendix 1).

 

6.     A letter dated October 19, 1998 from me to Allan Baker making reference to an oral agreement he made with me regarding a $5,000. retainer to take my lawsuit up to the point of trial and explaining my financial difficulties raising that amount of money. (see Appendix 2).

 

7.    A letter dated August 20, 1998 from my first lawyer Dale Fedorchuk to Allan Baker regarding Allan Baker’s request for my files and the urgency of the time due to: “counsel for Dr.Ross threatening to move to strike for delay”. (See Appendix 2).

 

8.    A letter dated September 14, 1998 from Allan Baker regarding the $5,000. retainer and indicating the urgency of the time due to a possible application for dismissal from Dr.Ross’ counsel. (See Appendix 2).

 

9.    A letter dated November 3, 1998 from Allan Baker to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation Winnipeg Support Group Contact and Treasurer, Jill Brooks, which serves as the legal contract between Allan Baker and me for his legal services upon receipt of the outstanding balance of the $5,000.  In this contract Allan Baker promises to represent me in my lawsuit against Dr.Colin Ross. Allan Baker writes: “My commitment with the retainer is to do what is necessary to have Ms.Hart’s application to extend the limitation period heard in court of Queen’s Bench”. (See Appendix 2).

 

10.   A letter dated February 26. 1999 from Allan Baker to Dr.Ross’ counsel Nicole Watson notifying her that he was now my lawyer. (See Appendix 2).

 

11.  My psychiatric assessment August 3, 2002 from Dr.Harold Merskey. (See Appendix 4)

 

12.   Eleven letters from me to Allan Baker between 1998 and 2003 providing information for my lawsuit and outlining my cognitive impairments. Requests for communication from him were ignored. Many more notes were sent but not copied; many phone messages were left and not responded to. (See Appendix 2).

 

13.   Letter dated July 19, 2003 from Allan Baker to me saying: “it is apparent that I am not able to complete this matter for you. I will, of course, provide you with a full refund.” (See Appendix 3).

 

14.   Letter dated July 18, 2003 from me to Ian Blomely, Complaints Investigator at The Law Society of Manitoba where I object to Allan Baker’s offer of a refund because it is not reasonable and is unfair. “Mr.Baker held out the impression that all was well, which I believe was misleading to say the least. Allowing this case to drag on for five years without any action being taken and only coming clean when I advised Mr.Baker that I was taking my case to the Law Society of Manitoba is completely irresponsible”.  (See Appendix 3).

 

15.   Letter dated November 27, 2003 to my last lawyer George Derwin from The Law Society of Manitoba Professional Liabilities Claims Fund Officer Louise Ritchie.  I received a copy of this letter which states that: “The Claims Fund is not retaining a copy of this file, in as much as your client has not sustained any loss in this regard resulting from negligence on the part of our insured”. I believed that to be a truthful statement from a legal authority and did not file a lawsuit against Allan Baker for negligence. (See Appendix 3).

 

16.   It took George Derwin four months to find the six boxes of my documents and files requested from Allan Baker and weeks to sort through the jumble of what was recovered. Letter dated January 27, 2004 from my lawyer George Derwin to me informing me that: “A motion to strike has been scheduled for March 9, 2004”. (See Appendix 5). 

 

17.  Copy of the draft affidavit that George Derwin requested from me regarding the delay in my lawsuit. (See Appendix 8)

 

 

 

17.   Copy of the Decision of Master Cooper, dated October 20, 2004 (See Appendix 6) which includes:

                            a) January 29, 2004 confirmation to George Derwin that the Law Society’s Claims Fund would be funding his services for me.

                            b) April 23, 2004The Law Society Investigator Ian Blomely’s letter to me: “we have determined that Mr.Baker is guilty of professional

                                 misconduct in delaying your matter”.

                            c)  Page 12 of the Motion: Mr.Baker acknowledged that: “In this connection I acknowledge that I have failed to respond to communications                                          

                                 from Ms.Hart and I also acknowledge that I have not pursued the matter of her claim with due diligence. I can offer no excuse for my

                                 conduct”.

                           d)  Page 7 of the Motion: “The length of delay is extreme…The delay is even more egregious in these circumstances”.

                           e)  The application is dismissed for delay and I am ordered to pay costs.

 

18.  My lawyer George Derwin informs me that in this particular lawsuit the costs will be “astronomical” so I launched another fundraiser to pay for him to appeal MasterCooper’s decision.

 

19.  In order to do everything possible to mitigate the damage done to my case a Notice to Appeal was filed November 10, 2004. (See Appendix 7)

 

 

20.   A judgment was given by Justice Sinclair March 8, 2005 (See Appendix 8) in which he concurs with Master Cooper’s judgment allowing it to stand and includes that:

        a) Page 3: “the delay appears to have been the fault of her counsel”.

        b) Page 3: “not award any costs with respect to this matter”.

 

21.  Immediately after the appeal hearing I asked my lawyer George Derwin what I should do next and he explained to me that I had a cause of action against Allan Baker for negligence and breach of contract. I am on welfare/disability and cannot afford a lawyer. Therefore it has been necessary for me to file this statement of claim myself. I am claiming:

       a)   That Allan Baker pay to me all of the money that I have had to borrow to pay for lawyers and disbursements from the very beginning of this case in March     1994. The estimated total is $50,000. and that he includes interest on that amount.

       b)   That Allan Baker is made to pay me an equivalent amount in aggravated damages.

       c)  That Allan Baker is made to pay me an equivalent in punitive damages.

 

22.  Allan Baker has admitted that he was negligent. He also breached his contract with me by only “pretending” to be working on my case all the while letting it lay dormant for five years.

 

23.   The Law Society of Manitoba found him guilty of negligence.

 

24.   Both Master Cooper and Judge Sinclair attributed the delay in my lawsuit to Allan Baker.

 

 

 

 

March 7, 2006                                                          Roma Elizabeth Hart

                                                                                 Townhouse 27

                                                                                 937 Greencrest Avenue

                                                                                 Winnipeg, Manitoba

                                                                                        R3T 4S8

 

                                                                                204-275-5723