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After almost a decade, former TRU student's case against university is dismissed

Adrian Miller alleged negligence and breach of contract
A case against Thompson Rivers University has finally been put to rest after eight years. (via Eric Thompson)

A case that has spanned the better part of a decade has come to an end.

Former Thompson Rivers University (TRU) student Adrian Miller filed a lawsuit against the school, and other defendants, back in March 2010, claiming negligence and breach of contract.

Miller took the case to court as a result of his belief that TRU had subjected him to harassment, discrimination and retaliation, which “destroyed a promising academic career, future successes and a previously happy life,” Supreme Court of British Columbia documents state.

“(Miller) alleged that the defendants had failed to make reasonable accommodation for an illness he was suffering from by granting extensions of time to complete course assignments and write examinations and that, as a result, he received no credit for the courses he enrolled in and incurred student loan expenses,” the document reads.

On Sept. 9, 2018, eight years after Miller filed his lawsuit, Justice Elaine Adair came to her decision, granting TRU’s request to have the case against the school dismissed.

“I find that, on the evidence, the delay has caused serious prejudice to the defendants in defending the claims made against them.”

Adair came to this decision after Miller continuously failed to complete and submit the proper documentation required in the B.C. Supreme Court, as well as continued to ignore numerous rules within the court process. This not only resulted in a delay in the case, but failed to give either side a fair chance, according to Adair.

TRU had claimed they gave Miller reasonable time frames to work with in regards to his illness while in school, yet Miller did not take advantage of them.

Adair believes Miller’s actions and failings during the court process has shed a very possible prejudice against him.

“Mr. Miller’s delay in prosecuting his claims creates a substantial risk that a fair trial is not possible. More than eight years after the action was commenced, pretrial steps such as discovery of documents have yet to be completed. Oral examinations for discovery, which could have recorded the defendants’ evidence at a time much closer to the events in issue, have yet to be held at all.”

Adair went through a list of document errors and absences on Miller’s behalf that stretch from 2010 until present day, and noted there has been no attempt to advance the case on the plaintiff's end.

"Miller has offered no reasons for the delay," Adair says in her decision.

"If he intended to do so, he was obliged to comply with (an) order and provide sworn affidavit evidence setting out his reasons. He did not. In my view, and having due regard for the fact that Mr. Miller is a self-represented litigant, this is a continuation of the pattern that Mr. Miller has displayed since 2010 of failing to comply with the rules and court orders except where it was convenient for him to do so, and then seeking accommodation or forgiveness for the failure.

“I acknowledge that dismissal has been described as a draconian remedy. However, defendants are just as entitled to timely justice as plaintiffs,” Adair stated.