Residential Schools Class Action Going to Mediation
ST. John’s, NL (January 26, 2014) – Parties involved in the Newfoundland and Labrador Residential Schools Class Action are scheduled to participate in mediation on June 9th and 10th, 2015.
Mediation is a confidential process through which parties hope to reach settlement, a binding agreement satisfactory to all parties. The decision to engage in settlement talks came about in discussion with the case management judge before lawyers for residential school survivors put forward a formal application for mediation.
“With trial scheduled in the fall, it is a reasonable prospect that the case will be settled in June,” said Ches Crosbie, a lawyer for survivors. Ches Crosbie Barristers in St. John’s, Ahlstrom Wright Oliver & Cooper (AWOC) in Sherwood Park, Alberta, and Koskie Minsky in Toronto are representing plaintiffs.
If the parties agree to a settlement in June, it could take months to gain court approval of the settlement and disperse settlement monies. If mediation is unsuccessful, trial will commence on September 28, 2015.
Trial was initially scheduled to start on November 18, 2014. It was adjourned due to requests for delay by defence parties.
The Residential Schools Class Action is a lawsuit taken on behalf of more than 1000 survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador, most of whom are Inuit who suffered neglect and abuse at residential schools. They are suing the Government of Canada, and in response to the suit filed against it, Canada has third partied the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, which has third partied Moravian entities and the Grenfell Association.
Survivors in Newfoundland and Labrador were excluded from a 2005 settlement involving survivors elsewhere in the country because they had no organized representation in Newfoundland and Labrador at the time. Survivors from the province were also excluded from Prime Minister Harper’s official apology to victims of residential schools across Canada in 2008.
Canada takes the position that it is not responsible for consequences of residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador because after the province joined confederation in 1949 Canada was not directly involved in administration of the schools.
Ches Crosbie Barristers is an accident, malpractice, and class action law firm in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. Ches Crosbie Barristers was successful in certifying the first class action lawsuit in Atlantic Canada and obtaining the first court approved settlement of a class action in Atlantic Canada.
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