Petition: Joint Inquest into Deaths of Danny Laporte, Clinton Robert Epp & Steven Kokotec

All three of these precious individuals died within hours of being seen at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital's acute-care psychiatric facility. 




Following the tragic and untimely death of Danny Laporte in April 30th, 2006, his sister Kim Requested an inquest which was denied and the following is a response from the then Regional Supervising Coroner Dr. J. Stanborough:




"The hospital took this process very seriously, and both Dr. Drake and I were very impressed with the proposed changes that the hospital came up with.  Indeed, in the last 18 months, the hospital revamped and expanded their psychiatric program considerably.  It is the opinion of Dr. Drake and I,  that a death similar to Danny's would be less likely today. The hospital is sending me a detailed letter outlining these changes we discussed at this meeting."




Kim Laporte never received a copy of these proposed changes. 


It is obvious that the undisclosed Changes that Hotel Dieu implememented following Danny Laporte's death, in fact, did not make similar deaths less likely.  Clinton Robert Epp completed suicide on Feb 9th, 2009 and Steven Michael Kokotec completed suicide on Jan 9th, 2011. 

Below is the full Petition Letter that will be sent to the Coroner's in Ontario.



January 28, 2011



Dr. Andrew McCallum
Chief Coroner for Ontario
Coroners Building



2nd Floor



26 Grenville St.
Toronto, ON
M7A2G9




Dr. Richard Mann



Regional Supervising Coroner
Southwest Region



Suite 303



235 North Centre Rd.
London, ON



N5X 4E7




Dr. Robert Drake
400 Cabana Rd. East
Unit 3



Windsor, ON



N9G 1A3




IN MEMORY OF DANNY LAPORTE, CLINTON ROBERT EPP, AND
STEVEN MICHAEL KOKOTEC:




We the undersigned are requesting the Chief Coroner's Office of Ontario to
conduct a joint inquest into the deaths of Danny Laporte, Clinton Robert Epp and Steven Michael Kokotec.



Section 25(2) of the Ontario Coroner's Act allows for a joint inquest where two or more deaths appear to have occurred in the same event or from a common cause.



All three of these precious individuals died within hours of being seen at Hotel-
Dieu Grace Hospital's acute-care psychiatric facility.




Danny LaPorte completed suicide on April so", 2006, twelve hours after having
been seen by medical staff at Hotel-Dieu. Following his tragic and untimely death, his 
sister  Kim requested an inquest. The following is an excerpt from the attached letter
she received in response to the request from then Regional Supervising Coroner Dr. J. Stanborough:





"On April 5 (2007), I had a 2.5 hour meeting with key senior administrative and
clinical personnel from the Hotel Dieu Hospital in a process known as a "Regional
Coroner's Review" ...The Hospital took this process very seriously, and both Dr. Drake and I were very impressed with the proposed changes that the hospital came up with. Indeed, in the last 18 months the hospital revamped and expanded their psychiatric program considerably. Most of these changes have already been implemented, and some continue to be developed. These changes involve both psychiatric services and the emergency services of the hospital. It is the opinion of Dr. Drake and I that a death similar to Danny's would be less likely today. The hospital is sending me a detailed letter outlining the changes we discussed at this meeting."




As a result, of the above no inquest was held into the death of Danny LaPorte, at
that time. In addition, the "detailed letter outlining the changes" was never forwarded to
Kim LaPorte.




On February 7th 2009 Clinton Robert Epp was seen by medical staff at Hotel-
Dieu. His mother Christine, who accompanied him to the hospital indicated that he was seen by a psychiatrist for a "matter of a few minutes". Two days later, Clinton tragically completed suicide.



On January 9th, 2011 Steven Kokotec was taken by ambulance to Hotel-Dieu
Hospital. The emergency room doctor admitted him on a Form 1. He was then seen by a psychiatrist who set him free. Within a few hours, Steven Kokotec tragically completed suicide.




The families of Danny, Clinton and Steven were left with the heartbreaking loss
of a loved one. To this day they have to cope with that devastation. In addition, they ask
themselves daily "why" and "could this have been prevented".




We the undersigned, gather as a community to ask the same questions. In view of
what has transpired, we feel the only way these questions can be and should be answered is through the conducting of an inquest.




It is obvious that the undisclosed changes that Hotel-Dieu implemented following
Danny LaPorte's tragic death, in fact, did not make similar deaths less likely.



Section 20 of the Coroner's Act states:




In determining whether an inquest is necessary or unnecessary, the Coroner shall
have regard to whether the holding of an inquest would serve the public interest and,
without restricting the generality of the foregoing, shall consider,



(a) whether the matters described in clauses 31(1)(a) to (e) are known;




(b) the desirability of the public being fully informed of the circumstances
of the d
eath through an investigation; and




(c) the likelihood that the jury on an inquest might make useful
recomme
ndations directed to the avoidance of death in similar
circ
umstances.




We the undersigned feel that, as a community, the only way "the public would be
fully informed of the circumstances of the deaths" of these three beloved individuals is
through an inquest.




We the undersigned believe that as a community we are entitled to transparency
and honesty in terms of the investigations into Danny, Clinton and Steven's tragic deaths.




We believe that it is only through the Coroner's Office and the carrying out of
their "mission statement", which includes "fostering good public relations" and "serving the living through high quality death investigations and inquests to ensure that no death will be overlooked, "that the true circumstances surrounding their deaths will be brought out into the open and scrutinized publicly. 




We realize that nothing can bring back our loved ones, but we firmly believe that had an inquest been conducted following the death of Danny LaPorte, that Clinton Epp and Steven Kokotec may be alive today.




We urge you to conduct ajoint inquest into the deaths of DANNY
LAPORTE, CLINTON EPP AND STEVEN KOKOTEC.




"WE SPEAK FOR THE DEAD TO PROTECT THE LIVING."
-Coroner's Motto




Please speak on behalf of Danny, Clinton and Steven, in the hopes that
others, in the future, will not have to undergo this painful process.



A facebook page titled "Petition for Joint Inquest" has been created with further information concerning this petition. 



Kim LaPorte



Christine Epp



Barb Kokotec

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