Koskie Minsky LLP gives notice to the Province of Ontario that it intends to commence a class action on behalf of former residents of sixteen institutions for persons with developmental disabilities

TORONTO, April 16, 2014 /CNW/ - Koskie Minsky LLP announced today that it has given notice to the Province of Ontario that it intends to commence a class proceeding on behalf of survivors of sixteen provincially operated residential institutions for persons with developmental disabilities.

Pursuant to the Proceedings Against the Crown Act, no action may be commenced against the Crown unless the claimant has served a notice on the Crown at least sixty days before the commencement of the action. Koskie Minsky LLP has served the Province of Ontario with its notice, and the clock is now ticking.

The institutions that are the subject matter of the notice of a proposed class action are Pine Ridge, Aurora; St. Lawrence Regional Centre, Brockville; D'Arcy Place, Cobourg; Adult Occupational Centre, Edgar; Bluewater Centre, Goderich; Muskoka Centre, Gravenhurst; CPRI, London; Midwestern Regional Centre, Palmerson; Prince Edward Heights, Picton; St. Thomas Adult Rehabilitation and Training Centre; Northwestern Regional Centre, Thunder Bay; Surry Place Centre, Toronto; Durham Centre for the Developmentally Handicapped, Whitby; Oxford Regional Centre, Woodstock;  The Nipissing Regional Centre, North Bay; and L.S. Penrose Centre, Kingston.

The notice states that the class action will allege that the Crown: (a) failed to adequately, properly and effectively protect residents; (b) failed to use reasonable care in ensuring the safety and well-being of the residents; (c) failed to provide a safe environment for residents; and (d) failed to provide appropriate care and facilities to the residents.

"Justice delayed is justice denied. We want to make sure that these individuals are denied no longer," said Kirk Baert, co-lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP, "As in the Huronia case, these victims were helpless and at the mercy of the government."

"It's time the Province of Ontario finished what it started." said Celeste Poltak, co-lead counsel at Koskie Minsky LLP. "Residents of these institutions are no less deserving than those who were institutionalized at Huronia, Rideau and Southwestern. We intend to shine a light on their experience and demand that the government take responsibility and be accountable for what occurred."

Koskie Minsky LLP was counsel to the survivors of Huronia, Rideau, and Southwestern Regional Centres, three Ontario-run facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities. These three cases recently received court approval of three settlements with the Province of Ontario wherein the Province agreed to pay survivors more than $67 million and to provide an apology to former residents of the facilities for the harm they sustained while living there.

"Over a period of generations, and under various governments, too many of these men, women, children and their families were deeply harmed and continue to bear the scars and the consequences of this time," Premier Kathleen Wynne said in the Province's apology to residents of Huronia. "Their humanity was undermined. They were separated from their families and robbed of their potential, their comfort, safety and their dignity."

The settlement agreements in the Huronia, Rideau, and Southwestern cases also ensure that the documents produced in these cases will be deposited in the Ontario Archives. Former residents of Huronia and their family members are also permitted to visit the Huronia facility. The first of these visits is scheduled for Friday April 25 and 26, 2014.

Koskie Minsky LLP was also counsel in Cloud v. Canada, the first Indian residential schools class action certified in Canada, which resulted in a $4 billion pan-Canadian settlement in which over 90,000 class members have made claims.

Kirk Baert and Celeste Poltak of Koskie Minsky LLP are lead counsel in this proposed class action.

Koskie Minsky LLP, based in Toronto, is one of Canada's foremost class action, pension, labour, employment and litigation firms. Its class actions group is a leader in class actions and has prosecuted many of the leading and most important cases in Canada.

For more information, please visit our website:

http://www.kmlaw.ca/institutionalabuse

SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP

For further information: Please contact Koskie Minsky LLP if you were a resident of any of these facilities, or you know any former residents: Email: institutionalabuse@kmlaw.ca, Toll free: 1-888-723-4304