Mary Elizabeth Harriman affidavit

  • View
    218

  • Download
    3

Embed Size (px)

DESCRIPTION

Court document filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice by defendant Mary Elizabeth Harriman, the former wife of Russell Williams.

Text of Mary Elizabeth Harriman affidavit

  • Court File No. 11-0230

    ONTARIOSUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE

    B E T W E E N:

    LAURIE MASSICOTTE, SHAUNA FRASER, JENNA FRASER andRACHELLE FRASER

    Plaintiffs

    and

    MARY ELIZABETH HARRIMAN, DAVID RUSSELL WILLIAMS andHER MAJESTY THE QUEEN IN RIGHT OF ONTARIO

    Defendants

    AFFIDAVIT

    I, Michael D. Heikkinen, of the City of Ottawa, in the Province of Ontario, MAKE

    OATH AND SAY:

    I am an associate with the law firm of AUGUSTINE BATER BINKS LLP, the

    lawyers for the Defendant, Mary Elizabeth Harriman, and, as such, have knowledge

    of the matters contained in this affidavit.

    2. Augustine Bater Binks LLP has represented Mary Elizabeth Harriman in this and

    other matters since May, 2010.

  • -2-

    Laurie Massicotte

    3. It is my understanding that in September of 2009, the plaintiff, Laurie Massicotte

    (Ms. Massicotte), was the victim of an attack by the defendant, David Russell

    Williams (Russell Williams).

    4. Russell Williams was arrested and charged with the attack on Ms. Masicotte, among

    other crimes, on February 8th, 2010.

    5. Russell Williams pled guilty to the attack on Ms. Massicotte, among other crimes, on

    October 18, 2010.

    Civil Action by Ms. Massicotte Representation by Counsel

    6. I am informed by Mary Jane Binks, Q.C., and I verily believe to be true that as early

    as June, 2010, Ms. Binks was contacted by lawyers representing Ms. Massicotte in

    relation to a potential civil action Ms. Massicotte would be bringing against Russell

    Williams and my client.

    7. I am informed by Mary Jane Binks, Q.C., and I verily believe to be true that Ms.

    Binks was made aware in May of 2010 that Michael Pretsell, of the firm Pretsell

    Cavanagh (as it was then known) was representing a victim of Russell Williams and

    was issuing a civil action against Russell Williams and Ms. Harriman.

  • 8. I believe that Ms. Massicottes first lawyer was Heidi Louise Bergeron, who is a

    lawyer in the Kingston area. Attached as Exhibit A to this my affidavit is a true

    copy of correspondence from Mr. Pretsell indicating that Ms. Bergeron was

    representing Ms. Massicotte. I note the date of this correspondence is the summer

    of 2010.

    9. The next lawyer I understood to be representing Ms. Massicotte was Kristian Bonn,

    of the Bonn law office in Trenton, Ontario. Attached at Exhibit B to this my

    affidavit is a true copy of correspondence from Mr. Bonn dated January 27, 2011.

    10. Ms. Massicotte issued her statement of claim in this action on September 23, 2011.

    At that time, J. David M. Ross, a lawyer in Belleville, Ontario, represented Ms.

    Massicotte. Ms. Massicottes claim also named Shauna Fraser, Jenna Fraser, and

    Rachelle Fraser (the FLA plaintiffs) as plaintiffs pursuant to the Family LawAct A

    true copy of the Statement of Claim issued on behalf of Ms. Massicotte is attached

    to this my affidavit as Exhibit C.

    11. Augustine Bater Binks LLP was served with a Notice of Intention to Act in Person on

    behalf of Ms. Massicotte and the FLA plaintiffs on May 10, 2012.

    12. Ms. Massicotte informed Mr. Pretsell on November 15, 2012 that she had entered

    into a Contingency Fee Retainer Agreement with Greenspon Brown & Associates on

    November 2012. A true copy of this e-mail was forwarded to Jonathan M.

    Richardson, on November 16th, 2012, a true copy of which is attached to this my

    affidavit as Exhibit D.

  • -4-

    13. I am informed by Mary Jane Binks, Q.C., and I verily believe to be true that she was

    never contacted by Mr. Greenspon in respect of his being counsel of record for Ms.

    Massicotte. To the best of Ms. Sinks knowledge, Ms. Massicotte continued to act in

    person, with Mr. Pretsell appearing as her agent at court proceedings in this matter

    in the autumn of 2012 and winter of 2013.

    14. I am informed by Mary Jane Sinks, Q.C., and I verily believe to be true that Ms.

    Sinks was first advised that Ms. Massicotte and the FLA plaintiffs current counsel,

    Philip P. Healey would be representing Ms. Massicotte at a case management

    conference of this (and related) actions in February, 2013.

    15. Augustine Bater Sinks LLP was served with a Notice of Change of Lawyer by Mr.

    Healey on May 8, 2013, a true copy of which is attached at Exhibit D of the

    affidavit of Brian Chung.

    Laurie Massicotte Intention to Bring an Action

    16. As early as October, 2010, Ms. Massicotte granted an interview to Macleans

    magazine indicating that she was seeking a lawyer who would represent her in a

    civil action arising from the attack on her. A true copy of the article published

    October 5, 2010, is attached to this my affidavit as Exhibit E.

    17. Ms. Massicotte granted a series of interviews to Joe Warmington and the Sun Media

    chain in April, 2011. In those interviews, true copies of which are attached to this

  • -5-

    my affidavit as Exhibit F, Ms. Massicotte indicated she wanted to sue both Mr.

    Williams and my client and that she wanted to get both of them on the witness

    stand.

    18. A further interview was granted to Joe Warmington of the Sun Media chain in July,

    2011, indicating that Ms. Massicottes claim against Mr. Williams and my client had

    been issued. A true copy of the article written by Mr. Warmington is attached to

    this my affidavit as Exhibit G.

    Claim issued in 2011

    19. As can be seen by the Statement of Claim issued on behalf of Ms. Massicotte at

    Exhibit C, the only claim pled against Ms. Harriman was that a domestic contract,

    and transfer of the matrimonial home into my clients name alone, was contrary to

    the Fraudulent Conveyances Act

    20. No further material facts and/or relief was sought against my client at the time the

    claim was issued.

    21. During the period between the issuance of the statement of claim by Mr. Ross, and

    the autumn of 2013, no attempt was made by Ms. Massicotte or any counsel on her

    behalf to amend the statement of claim.

  • -6-

    22. During the period between the issuance of the statement of claim by Mr. Ross and

    the autumn of 2013, no material facts or additional relief was sought against Ms.

    Harriman in any form. No correspondence was written by Ms. Massicotte or on her

    behalf alleging additional relief would be sought or that new material facts came to

    light.

    Amendment to Statement of Claim

    23. Augustine Bater Binks LLP was first provided with a draft amended Statement of

    Claim by Mr. Healey on November 7th, 2013. Mr. Healey stated at that time in his

    covering correspondence that the amendments proposed are not different from

    that which was originally pleaded but were in fact, further particulars. A true

    copy of the covering e-mail and draft amended Statement of Claim are attached to

    this my affidavit as Exhibit H.

    24. I am informed by Mary Jane Sinks, Q.C., and I verily believe to be true that she was

    advised by Mr. Healey in a tele-conference dated November 8th, 2013 that he was

    considering making further amendments to the Statement of Claim issued on

    behalf of Ms. Massicotte,

    25. Augustine Bater Binks LLP was provided with a copy of the further amended

    Statement of Claim on November 15, 2013. A true copy of the covering

    correspondence and further amended Statement of Claim is attached to this my

    affidavit as Exhibit I.

  • -7-

    New Claims in Amended Statement of Claim

    26. Despite Mr. Healeys statement that the amendments are what was originally

    pleaded, new causes of action have been pled as against Ms. Harriman.

    27. In particular, paragraph 63 of the amended Statement of Claim (which is the same

    as paragraph 67 of the further amended Statement of Claim) states:

    The Plaintiffs further plead as against the Defendant Harriman that she wasaware of the illicit conduct of Williams; did not report that conduct to thepolice; has, through the transfer and disiosal of assets of Williams, gainedfinancially from this illicit conduct; and that all of this gives rise to furtherdamages against the Defendant Harriman.

    28. The above paragraph is clearly seeking new relief as against Ms. Harriman. The

    above paragraph alleges that Ms. Massicotte is entitled to further damages

    (damages above and beyond those alleging the transfer of the matrimonial home is

    contrary to the Fradularit Conveyances Act) on the basis that Ms. Harriman

    allegedly had knowledge of Russell Williams conduct and failed to report Russell

    Williams conduct to the police.

    29. The further amended Statement of Claim also seeks relief pursuant to the Charter

    of Rights and Freedoms, and in particular, an Order declaring s.30 of the Pension

    Actto be void.

    30. This claim was never raised in the Statement of Claim issued on behalf of Ms.

    Massicotte in 2011.

  • -8-

    31. This claim was further never raised at any time prior to November, 2013, when

    Augustine Bater Binks LLP received the further amended Statement of Claim.

    Expiration of Limitation Period

    32. More than 4 years passed from the date of the attack on Ms. Massicotte to the date

    Augustine Bater Binks LLP received the draft amended Statement of Claim.

    33. Nearly 4 years elapsed between the date Russell Williams was charged with the

    attack on Ms. Massicotte and the date Augustine Bater Binks LLP received the draft

    amended Statement of Claim.

    34. Over 3 years elapsed between the date Russell Williams pled guil