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'Duty of care not met,' says mother of late Coquitlam "Flash" actor in suit against child protection authorities

Logan Williams was a promising young actor when he died of an overdose. Lawsuit claims that caregivers were negligent in their responsibilities.
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The mother of Logan Williams, who went to school in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam, has filed a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court as a result of his death of an overdose while in care.

A Coquitlam teen actor was working on a promising career when he died in 2020 of an accidental overdose.

Now his mother, Marlyse Williams, is suing the Ministry of Children and Family Development and a Burnaby care facility in the wake of her son’s tragic death.

Logan Williams, who was 16 when he died, grew up in Coquitlam and attended Hope Lutheran School and Terry Fox Secondary in Port Coquitlam.

As of April 6, the ministry had yet to file its own claim but told the Tri-City News in an email that “no family should have to deal with the loss of a child and our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragedy.” 

However, it stated that it could not comment publicly on the case because of privacy reasons nor on the lawsuit because it is still before the courts.

In September 2021, the BC Coroner's service announced that Logan Williams, the young Flash actor, had died of an overdose.

In her legal action filed on March 29, Williams alleged that her son died of an overdose because caregivers were negligent in monitoring his activities even though he was a vulnerable youth who required around-the-clock care. 

In her lawsuit, Williams claims that her son Logan was removed from her care on May 2, 2019, and placed in child protection under the Child, Family and Community Services Act under a temporary custody order.

He remained under this order through several extensions until his death April 2, 2020, the lawsuit states.

It further claims that the child protection authorities had a "duty of care to Logan to keep him safe and free from harm."

In February 2020, Logan acquired illegal drugs while in a detention facility for youth and suffered a significant overdose, which required him to be taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, where it was determined that he suffered a brain injury.

Williams said she was told there would be an investigation into how Logan obtained illegal drugs, which included fentanyl, amphetamines and benzodiazepines.

SEVERE BRAIN INJURY

Meanwhile, a brain scan taken at the hospital showed "significant damage to his cerebellum."

He was taken to BC Children's Hospital where he suffered multiple seizures and was not breathing on his own.

And upon his release, a care plan was organized that required that Logan be monitored with 24-hour supervision.

The lawsuit states that caregivers at Esau House knew Logan required around-the-clock supervision for his safety, including having an adult accompanying him at all times because he was "unable to understand the dangers and risks he was facing."

However, according to the lawsuit, Logan left Esau House without permission on several occasions, even though "Esau House had full knowledge of the risk to Logan and should have put in place better safeguards to prevent Logan from leaving unattended.” 

On April 1, 2020, Logan appeared to be "high" when he returned from an unescorted outing and could barely stand. He began yelling when denied sleeping medication he requested.

The lawsuit claims that staff called Williams, who "pleaded" with them to call an ambulance but was assured "staff will check on him every 15 minutes and not to worry." 

It states that around 9:30 a.m. on April 2, 2020, a female Esau House staff member conducted a check on Logan and knocked on his door. When Logan did not respond, the staff member opened the door and “found him naked on his bed.”

The staff member not feel comfortable checking on him because he was naked so 911 was called and police paramedics arrived and pronounced him dead.

"Esau House staff negligently failed to perform any life-saving procedures," the lawsuit states, and failed to follow its own policies to prevent overdoses.

In her lawsuit, Williams describes her son, who was born in 2003, as a happy and healthy child who was popular, polite, insightful and kind.

Much of her claim details how Williams and Logan worked on his career, including creating a filming room in her house.

He appeared in several shows such as When Calls the Heart, The Whispers, Supernatural and most notably playing the young Barry Allen in the hit CW series The Flash in season one and two.

The two had a "significant bond" that strengthened with their "mutual love of film, acting, music and the arts,” and were writing a script together based on Logan's life, which they planned to sell.

AUDITIONED FOR RIVERDALE

Logan was pursuing a number of roles, including auditioning for a role in Riverdale, and another movie, and earned $100,000 in three years, the claim states.

As his manager, Williams made plans to further his career, including a move to Los Angeles. After his death, Williams was denied earnings for their joint ventures.

And in the months since his death, Williams stated that she has suffered "long-lasting psychological injuries,” as well as financial losses through not being able to work.

"She experiences sudden outbursts of extreme sadness and is unable to stop crying on a daily basis,” the lawsuit states.

Williams seeks a declaration that the agencies involved with her son, including the ministry and Esau House, breached the duties of their care and fiduciary duties resulting in her son's death.

She is seeking general and special damages, as well as aggravated and punitive damages.

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