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Former 'Indian Hospital' patients launch class-action lawsuit
Published Thursday, May 10, 2018 6:22PM CST
Last Updated Thursday, May 10, 2018 6:31PM CST
Tony Merchant has launched a class action lawsuit surrounding alleged medical experiments and testing conducted on Indigenous patients back when "Indian Hospitals" were in operation.
Sixty-five-year-old Klyne Alexson is one of the people involved in the lawsuit, saying he was in the former Fort Qu'Appelle Sanitarium from six months old until he was three, as doctors said he had a collapsed lung from tuberculosis.
"It was a nightmare," Alexson told CTV News. He said he still has flashbacks of dark rooms and children crying. He also says he remembers being injected by hospital staff with unknown substances.
Decades later, Alexson says he has seizures that doctors can't seem to diagnose.
He wants to see his hospital records from Fort San to see if the cause of his seizures could stem from the alleged treatments conducted on him and other Indigenous patients when the hospital was open.
"Atrociously, Indigenous people were the subject of testing and we seek compensation for that," said Merchant. "Many people had surgeries that they ought not to have had. Surgeries were undertaken that were different from the way the non-Indigenous people were being treated for tuberculosis, so there's a lot to this."
In a statement to CTV News, Indigenous and Norther Affairs Canada said:
"The abuse of children is tragic and unacceptable. The allegations that have been outlined in media articles on this issue are very troubling. The government takes issues and allegations of this type very seriously. At this time Canada has not had the opportunity to review the Statement of Claim, and as a result, it would be inappropriate to comment further."
Meanwhile, Alexson just hopes he can find out if the tests conducted on him as a child are the reason he is suffering seizures today.
"Money is not important to me,” Alexson said. “It's my life that's important to me."
Merchant says 100 people have contacted his office so far about this lawsuit.