Former caregivers of Serenity sue Alberta Senator Paula Simons for $500K

Edmonton columnist Paula Simons was appointed to the Senate, Oct. 3, 2018. Courtesy: Twitter/Paula Simons

Sen. Paula Simons is being sued for $500,000 for recently re-posting on social media a 2017 article she wrote during her time as a columnist at the Edmonton Journal.

The suit was filed in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Wetaskiwin, Alta., on Monday, Sept. 23, by the man and woman who were caregivers of a girl known as “Serenity.”

The four-year-old girl died in 2014 after being taken to hospital with a head injury. A report by Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate, which provoked a public outcry, said doctors noted Serenity had bruises at various stages of healing and was “significantly underweight.”

The guardians were jointly charged in 2017 with failing to provide the necessaries of life to Serenity — a charge the RCMP said was unrelated to the child’s death. Those charges were stayed Aug. 13.

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Later that day, according to the statement of claim, Simons posted on Facebook and Twitter: “I was not in the courtroom for the preliminary hearing and did not hear the evidence. Even if I had, I couldn’t discuss it. So I have no informed public comment to make on the Crown’s decision to stay the charges. I’ll let my original work speak for itself.”

Simons then linked to her 2017 article, portions of which the plaintiffs say are defamatory.

“The said words meant and were understood to mean the plaintiffs were involved in the physical and sexual abuse of the child (Serenity), that the child did not die as a result of an accidental fall from a swing, that the child’s death was a homicide or criminal in nature, and that the plaintiffs should not have children in their care,” the claim says.

WATCH BELOW: (From Aug. 13, 2019) Global News has learned charges against two guardians have been stayed in the case of a four-year-old Alberta girl who has come to be known as Serenity.

Click to play video: 'Charges stayed in Serenity case'
Charges stayed in Serenity case

The plaintiffs are not being named to protect the identity of Serenity’s two living siblings.

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In an email Tuesday, Simons said she has not been served with the statement of claim and has no comment.

Serenity died in 2014 when she was four years old. Supplied to Global News

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