Mom's suit against estranged children has day in court
A mother's campaign for parental support from the children she abandoned decades ago continued on Tuesday, with a B.C. Supreme Court hearing for a lawsuit that's already dragged on for 11 years.
Shirley Anderson, 71, is suing four of her five children, who say she's asking for monthly payments of $750 from each of them.
Anderson abandoned her son Ken in Osoyoos when he was 15, only to sue him decades later.
"I just do not believe you should have to pay when you're left behind at 15 years old. It's not right," Ken told reporters outside the court.
"I just wish this nightmare would disappear."
He said that he and his wife Sherry need money for their own retirements and their children's education.
"We're getting older and we've got to retire soon. We've got two kids that we've got to put through post-secondary school, and having to pay her just takes it away from my kids. It's just not right," he said.
The lawsuit is based on a section on a little-used clause in the B.C. Family Relations Act that ensures, "A child is liable to maintain and support a parent having regard to the other responsibilities and liabilities and the reasonable needs of the child."
The section dates back to 1922, before the existence of pensions, and has only been used a dozen times since 1927.
The B.C. Law Institute has recommended that the clause be repealed.
"If the recommendations go through, this will most likely not be on the books any longer," Ken's lawyer Stanley Schwartz said.
Shirley Anderson did not appear in court on Tuesday, and her lawyer declined to comment on the case.
The hearing, meant to last two days, was adjourned Tuesday. No date has been scheduled for it to resume.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Sarah Galashan