Huronia Abuse Lawsuit: Last Minute Settlement Reached

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - An historic settlement was finally reached early this morning, as proceedings were set to begin, between lawyers for the Huronia Regional Centre (HRC) survivors and the Province of Ontario. The institutional survivors of the HRC will finally receive the justice they have been demanding from the Ontario government for years.

Preliminary details of the settlement, subject to court approval, are:

  • An apology to all former residents of Huronia from the Province of Ontario;

  • $35,000,000 Settlement Fund;

  • The Province will pay for the cost of notice to the class and administration of the claims process;

  • The compensation awards will not be subject to tax or government clawbacks;

  • The application process is paper based and does not require former residents to testify;

  • The documents produced in this case will be accessible for scholarly research; and

  • Commemorative Initiatives including:

    • a commemorative plaque on the grounds of Huronia;
    • opportunity to access the grounds of Huronia;
    • proper maintenance of the cemetery at Huronia and registry of those interred; and
    • opportunity for scholars to attend and archive artifacts from Huronia.

Importantly, the government will issue a formal apology to all former residents of HRC. This is a key settlement term, and one that the survivors and their legal representatives had insisted upon. As the historic settlement was reached, Huronia survivor Patricia Seth said: "I'm so relieved. Now everyone will know I wasn't lying about how they treated me in that place. I'm glad they're going to apologize."

Koskie Minsky lawyers fought to ensure that survivors will be able to access the settlement fund without having to testify about the abuse they suffered while in the government's care at HRC. Settlement money will not be taxed or subject to clawbacks of any kind. Kirk Baert, lead counsel to the plaintiffs said: "We couldn't be happier. These survivors have been through enough. We needed to make sure they got the compensation they deserved."

The plaintiffs expressed satisfaction that the government has agreed to commemorative actions such as a plaque on the grounds of HRC and making the case documents accessible for scholarly research.

SOURCE: Koskie Minsky LLP

For further information:

Celeste Poltak
Koskie Minsky LLP
(416) 595-2701

Daisy Consulting Group
(416) 642-3100

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