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Updated: Wed, 27 Feb 2013 20:30:56 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Grieving B.C. mom begins battle over slain daughter's rights



Grieving B.C. mom begins battle over slain daughter's rights

A B.C. woman is fighting for her right to sue the federal and provincial governments over the RCMP's failure to respond to gunshots that killed her daughter.

Rosemarie Surakka filed the lawsuit in 2011, three years after her daughter Lisa Dudley, 37, was gunned down along with her boyfriend Guthrie McKay, 33, in their home in Mission.

Surakka alleges the B.C. and federal governments — in their responsibility for the RCMP — failed to uphold her daughter's rights under Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees a person's right to life, liberty and security.

While the RCMP was called to the scene of the shooting by a neighbour who heard the gunshots, the officer never got out of his car or knocked on a single door, reporting later that everything looked normal in the area.

McKay was killed instantly, but Dudley was paralyzed, and survived four days in the house until a neighbour stumbled on the scene. She died before reaching the hospital.

The officer who failed to investigate the gunshots was later found guilty of disgraceful conduct and docked one day's pay.

Federal lawyers with the Department of Justice want the case thrown out, arguing that Charter rights are personal, and no one can seek a remedy for the violation of someone else's Charter rights. They argue any rights Dudley had were extinguished when she died.

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