Canadian court upholds lawsuit against private security firm

Court says private agencies subject to similar liability as police


TORONTO - Ontario's highest court has opened the door to a groundbreaking negligence lawsuit against a private security firm.

An investigation by the firm into a drug trafficking ring at a Woodbridge, Ont., factory in 2002 led to the wrongful arrest of a 62-year-old labourer.

The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled 3-0 Tuesday that the right to sue police for negligent investigations should be extended to private security companies.

The court said as private agencies take on many functions once performed only by police, they ought to be subject to similar liability.

The factory worker (Joao Correia) who was fired, handcuffed and accused of being a thief can now sue Aston Associates Investigations Ltd.

The worker was fired and held by police for three hours after being mixed up with a fellow employee about 40 years younger than him. (Toronto Star)