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Injured builder sues province for native attack

Sam Gualtieri says OPP failed to protect him

The Hamilton Spectator

CALEDONIA – Wounded builder Sam Gualtieri who suffered head injuries when he was attacked during a native occupation  last fall, is suing the Ontario government alleging the OPP failed to protect him.

Gualtieri, 53, suffered serious head injuries Sept. 13 when he went into a home he was building for his daughter in the Stirling Woods subdivision to clear young native protesters from inside.

Two young men and a young offender  were later arrested and charged with assault.

Gualtieri’s statement of claim, seeking millions in damages, was filed in Cayuga court by Hamilton lawyer John Findlay.  The allegations have yet to be proven in court.

In an interview with The Spectator shortly after he got out of hospital, Sam, who has suffered brain damage and can no longer drive or work, said  he was working on his daughter’s home when protesters swarmed over the site.

"We were leaving and went back to make sure no one was in the house," he said. "When I went inside, there were some people on the stairs and I heard noises upstairs so there were maybe more up there to."

He doesn’t remember much of what happened next.

Gualtieri said someone hit him and he woke up in the hospital with his wife, Sandy, trying to explain to him what happened.

The lawsuit claims the OPP were in the area and did nothing to prevent the attack.

This is the second Caledonia lawsuit against the province which alleges the OPP failed to act appropriately.

A week after Gualtieri was injured  Dave Brown and his partner Dana Chatwell, who have lived in their Sixth Line home for months  behind native barricades after the February 2006 occupation of the former Douglas Creek Estates subdivision launched a $12-million lawsuit against the province and the OPP.

They claim the OPP and provincial government breached their duty to protect them by allowing natives to harass the family. the claims have yet to be proven in court.