TORONTO, Oct. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - A proposed Settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit involving the Huronia Regional Centre ("Huronia"), which was a residential facility operated by the Province of Ontario (the "Province") that provided care and treatment to persons with developmental disabilities from 1876 to 2009. The facility was located in Orillia, Ontario and was known by various names, including the Ontario Hospital School and the Hospital for the Feeble-Minded.
The lawsuit says the Province failed to properly care for and protect the residents of Huronia from physical and mental harm. The Province denies these claims and the Court has not decided whether the Class or the Province is right. Instead, both sides have agreed to a settlement. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that the Province did anything wrong.
The Court appointed the law firm of Koskie Minsky LLP from Toronto, Ontario to represent the Class as "Class Counsel". In a statement Class Counsel, Kirk Baert said, "This proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of all class members. After years of litigation, this Settlement finally provides the class with a measure of vindication for their experiences while living at the Huronia Regional Centre."
The lawsuit affects people who were Huronia residents any time between 1945 and 2009. The lawsuit also affects estate trustees of former residents who lived at Huronia between 1945 and 2009, but who died after April 21, 2007.
If the proposed Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide benefits to eligible Class Members from a $35 million Settlement Fund, which is being paid for by the Province. The amount of benefits that Class Members can receive will depend on the level of harm suffered. If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, Class Members will have to submit a Claim Form to receive benefits. Claim Forms will be available at www.HuroniaClassAction.ca or by calling 1-866-879-4915 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027).
Class Members who did not previously remove themselves from the Class will be legally bound by all orders and judgments of the Court, and cannot sue the Province about the legal claims in this case. Being part of the Class will not impact the residence or services and support received by Class Members from community based agencies funded by the Province.
Class Members do not have to pay Class Counsel, or anyone else, to be part of the Class. Class Members may hire their own lawyer to appear in Court, with leave of the court, on their behalf at their own expense.
The Court will hold an Approval Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on December 3, 2013 at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, Ontario. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class, and whether to approve the Settlement.
Some Class Members may have difficulty reading, so we are asking for the help from family members, caregivers and friends of former residents in getting information to them. Please show this notice to people who are impacted by this lawsuit or to their caregivers.
More detailed information on this lawsuit is available on the website at www.huroniaclassaction.ca. You may also call toll-free 1-866-879-4915 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027); write to: Huronia Settlement, 3-505, 133 Weber Street North, Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 3G9; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Class Members who are having a difficult time dealing with the issues in this lawsuit can call 1-866-879-4915 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027) for assistance.
CONTACT: David Rosenfeld, (416) 595-2700
SOURCE: Koskie Minsky LLP
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