Kael Austin Svendsen and Bre-Anne Buhler, shown here in RCMP mugshots, have filed a civil lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry for Children and Family Development claiming, in Svendsen’s case it failed him while he was in foster care as a child and in Buhler’s case it was negligent of her safety and welfare while she was under its care. (RCMP photo)

Kael Austin Svendsen and Bre-Anne Buhler, shown here in RCMP mugshots, have filed a civil lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry for Children and Family Development claiming, in Svendsen’s case it failed him while he was in foster care as a child and in Buhler’s case it was negligent of her safety and welfare while she was under its care. (RCMP photo)

Claims of ministry neglect allegedly led B.C. pair to life of crime and addiction

Penticton pair have filed a civil lawsuit against the Ministry for Children and Family Development

A Penticton pair have filed a civil lawsuit against the B.C. Ministry for Children and Family Development claiming inadequate care and support put them in a downward spiral and into a life of crime and drugs.

Bre-Anne Buhler and Kael Svendsen filed a notice of civil lawsuit in the Supreme Court on Aug. 22 on the legal basis of negligence, misfeasance of public office, abuse of process, breach of fiduciary duty and that the province is liable for any harm caused by the ministry director’s alleged negligence.

READ MORE: Sentencing delayed for Penticton woman caught vaginally smuggling drugs

In her claim, Buhler said she was exposed to periods without food, street homelessness, illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, crack and cocaine. She also claims she was sexually exploited and assaulted as a result of negligent parental actions by the director.

READ MORE: Osoyoos RCMP arrest man wanted on province-wide warrants

Buhler said, in the court documents, that she became a child in the continuing care of the province pursuant to a continuing custody order and was vulnerable to abuse given her history of parental neglect, medical neglect, a victim of sexual assault, housing transiency and exposure to traumatic circumstances.

Svendson alleges the failings of the director started when he was placed into a foster home where the adult suffered from alcoholism and provided him, on multiple occasions with booze. The statement also claims that the foster parent had called RCMP while Svendson was intoxicated and admitted to supplying him with alcohol.

He said that he was removed from the home was “subsequently homeless, hungry and became addicted to drugs.” Svendson claims he became involved in crime to afford food and began to steal to feed his alcohol addiction.

“Due to his alcohol addiction, (Svendson) migrated to illicit drugs. The director had an obligation to plan for the plaintiff’s welfare. No planning was ever done even when the director was aware that the plaintiff was incarcerated, transient or homeless,” reads the claim notice.

Buhler last served time behind bars in 2017 where the charges took up nearly five pages on the court docket, ranging from break-and-enters and drug charges down to breaking curfew while on bail. She was sentenced in August to two years in jail after taking RCMP on an 18-minute chase where she had a “full pharmacy on board in her vagina” and appeared to be overdosing once police took her under arrest.

READ MORE: Woman gets 245 days in jail for dozens of charges

Svendsen was wanted on eight province-wide warrants and arrested in November in Osoyoos. He is facing 21 charges including careless use of a firearm, theft under $5,000, mischief, break and enter and two counts of assault.

Both plaintiffs are arguing that the director of the ministry had an obligation to consider their safety, physical and emotional needs and level of development, the importance of continuity of care and other best interests. They state the director failed to consider those interest, as well as their safety and well-being.

Buhler’s statement said the director failed to apply for benefits or entitlements to which they knew, or ought to have known she was entitled to and failed to put in place any future planning of care to assist Buhler in dealing with living independently as an adult exiting the care of the ministry.

Both of the plaintiffs are suing for unspecified monetary amount as a result of general damages, loss of earnings, loss of future earnings, damages for breach of fiduciary duty among other things.

READ MORE:

Province concerned over allegations of Kelowna social worker

Both Buhler and Svendson have hired lawyer Michael Patterson, who is representing several others in a civil lawsuit against a former Kelowna social worker who they allege was stealing money from them while they were in his care.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Boxing club owner Jesse Pineiro, Nelson’s 2021 sports ambassador, recommends the novel Hurry Home by Roz Nay, the new cultural ambassador, who has taken up boxing (at least for this photo). Photo: Bill Metcalfe
Nelson bestows annual ambassadorships, awards

Residents recognized for achievements in arts, sports, heritage and sustainability

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

The Civic Theatre’s Eleanor Stacey writes there’s plenty of evidence to show theatres will rebound after the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
COLUMN: The future of cinema is bright

Why we can all expect to be seeing films on the big screen again soon enough

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

Most Read