A Canadian man who was in a long-term coma woke up to discover his apartment and all of his belongings had been given away by the government.
Marcel Blanchette was the victim of an unprovoked physical attack back in 2014 and was beaten so badly that he was left nearly brain-dead. After recovering from a coma, the now 52-year-old found out a public employee had gotten rid of all his personal property, the CBC reports.
"Coming out of a coma in intensive care and then dealing with reality — I was a victim again," Blanchette said. "What this government department did was not honest and it was not fair."
Blanchette filed a lawsuit last month against the Public Guardian and Trustee of Manitoba, a provincial agency that handles the affairs of children, mentally incapable adults, and other vulnerable people.
The suit seeks a total of $93,778 in losses that the distraught man claims he endured during his recovery. It includes the cost of replacing his possessions, which is estimated at $37,054, along with $15,000 in legal costs, $2,139 in rent paid unnecessarily, and other miscellaneous expenses, such as re-filing taxes and replacing his birth certificate.
The agency relinquished the victim’s furniture, clothing, artwork, tax documents, and family photos to his former property manager, who then donated the items to Big Brothers Big Sisters. The second-hand store sold mostly everything and priced it all according to weight.
The store did, however, keep a plastic bag full of some of Blanchette’s personal paperwork, diplomas, and a few family photos.
Apparently, a lawyer who represents the agency previously offered him a settlement of $3,757, which is based on an estimate of the total cost of his items at a standard thrift store. Blanchette, however, rejected the offer.
"I've fought too long and hard for this and I won't give up," he reportedly said.
The Public Guardian and Trustee Act, Section 37 states that the agency can’t be sued if it acted in good faith to exercise its powers under the act, according to the CBC's translation — but Blanchette is not going down without a fight.
Could you imagine going through such a traumatic ordeal?
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters