Juror claims PTSD after trial, sues Ontario province
A Canadian man is seeking a $100,000 settlement and changes to the Ontario justice system for psychological injuries he received while serving as a juror on a 2014 murder case., according to The Canadian Press.
Mike Farrant spent five months as a juror at the trial of Farshad Badakhshan, 31, who was tried and convicted of murdering his 23-year-old girlfriend, student Carina Petrache, in 2014.
The details of the murder were so graphic that Farrant developed PTSD during the trial, according to his statement of claim, which was filed in Toronto. In his claim, Farrant says he has suffered from “ongoing mental health problems including but not limited to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, nervous shock and other issues, as a direct result of being compelled to serve on the jury.”
Farrant continues to suffer from stress, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, significant weight loss, loss of income and diminished capacity to enjoy life, according to his complaint.
During the trial, jurors heard details of a gruesome murder in which Badakhshan stabbed his girlfriend and then set fire to their residence while Petrache was still alive. She fled the burning building despite her injuries but died while being transported to the hospital. Badakhshan was also severely burned. His injuries left him disfigured and his left leg had to be amputated below the knee.
After the trial, Farrant became an advocate for jurors and was successful in spurring Ontario to establish a new jury support program, which includes making counseling available for jurors during the trial. Farrant is also seeking changes at the federal level.
In an interview with the press, Farrant said the $100,000 in damages he is seeking is not a great deal of money. “The claim has a modest financial component as I believe this action is an extension of the advocacy work I have been doing,” Farrant said.