Making a claim in the huronia rideau southwestern class actions march 31 2014
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MAKING A CLAIM IN THE HURONIA, RIDEAU & SOUTHWESTERN CLASS ACTIONS March 31, 2014. Presented by. Laurie Letheren, Staff Lawyer Mike Brito & Andrian Nakarikov, DLI Students ARCH DISABILITY LAW CENTRE www.archdisabilitylaw.ca 425 Bloor St. E. Ste. 110 Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R5

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Making a claim in the huronia rideau southwestern class actions march 31 2014

MAKING A CLAIM

IN THE

HURONIA, RIDEAU &

SOUTHWESTERN

CLASS ACTIONS

March 31, 2014


Presented by
Presented by

Laurie Letheren, Staff Lawyer

Mike Brito & Andrian Nakarikov, DLI Students

ARCH DISABILITY LAW CENTRE

www.archdisabilitylaw.ca

425 Bloor St. E. Ste. 110

Toronto, Ontario M4W 3R5

Tel: 416-482-8255 or 1-866-482-2724

TTY: 416-482-1254 or 1-866-482-2728

Fax: 416-482-2981 or 1-866-881-2723


Topics covered in this webinar
Topics Covered in this Webinar

  • Background and history of institutions for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities

  • Claims process

  • Writing about abuse in Section B

  • Filling in the Claim Form for someone else

  • Ways to help


History of institutions for people with intellectual disabilities
History of Institutions for People with Intellectual Disabilities

  • 1876: Ontario opened first residential institution for people labelled with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Initially called “Orillia Asylum for Idiots”, later became Huronia Regional Centre.

  • Similar residential institutions were operated across the province, including “Rideau” in Smiths Falls and “Southwestern” near Chatham.

  • By 2009: Southwestern, Rideau and Huronia all closed.


Who lived in these institutions
Who lived in these institutions? Disabilities

  • Institutions were intended to provide residential and other supports to individuals labelled with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

  • Families were encouraged to leave their children at these institutions.

  • By the time the last institutions closed in 2009, more than 50,000 children and adults had been residents in these Ontario institutions.

  • Source: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/dshistory/index.aspx


Living conditions in the institutions
Living Conditions in the Institutions Disabilities

  • Institutions were overcrowded and unsanitary.

  • Residents were isolated from their families and communities

  • Residents were neglected and abused.

  • For more information, watch powerful CBC documentary on the conditions at Huronia:

    http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/documentaries/2013/09/21/the-gristle-in-the-stew/


Class action lawsuits
Class Action Lawsuits Disabilities

  • 3 class action lawsuits against Ontario government brought by former residents Marie Slark, Pat Seth, David McKillop, Mary Ellen Fox and their litigation guardians.

  • Koskie Minsky LLP is the law firm that represented the plaintiffs in these cases.

  • All three actions have now settled.


Settlement agreements
Settlement Agreements Disabilities

l

  • Huronia: $35 Million settlement fund

  • Rideau: $20.6 Million settlement fund

  • Southwestern: $12.1 Million settlement fund

  • There is one claims process and similar but separate forms for each of the 3 institutions.

  • If a person lived at more than one of these institutions, that person should submit one claim form for each of the places where he or she lived.


Settlement funds that are not used for compensation
Settlement Funds that are not used for Compensation Disabilities

  • Up to $7.7 million could go to programs for people labeled with intellectual disabilities and their families

  • Anything remaining after that will go back to the Crown


Settlement agreements1
Settlement Agreements Disabilities

  • Apology to the former residents. Apology can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUMUyLKbHJg

  • Compensation awards will not be taxed and no government claw backs, ODSP will not be affected

  • Application process is paper based, former residents do not have to testify or appear in person

  • Commemorative initiatives, including plaques, archiving of documents, maintenance of the Huronia graveyard, access to some of the institutions


Huronia regional centre
Huronia Regional Centre Disabilities

  • A claim for compensation can be made by anyone who is alive and lived at Huronia between 1945 and 2009

  • A claim can also be made for anyone who lived at Huronia and died after April 21, 2007.


Rideau regional centre
Rideau Regional Centre Disabilities

  • A claim for compensation can be made by anyone who is alive and lived at Rideau between Sept. 1, 1963 and March 31, 2009.

  • A claim can also be made for anyone who lived at Rideau and died after September 24, 2008.


Southwestern

Southwestern Regional Centre Disabilities

Southwestern

  • A claim for compensation can be made by anyone who is alive and lived at Southwestern between September 1, 1963 and October 31, 2008.

  • A claim can also be made for anyone who lived at Southwestern and died after Dec. 29, 2008.


Southwestern1

Claims Process Disabilities

Southwestern

4 main documents:

  • Cover letter

  • Short form for posters and newspaper announcements

  • Long form to explain the process

  • Claim form to submit by August 5


Where to get a claim form
Where to Get a Claim Form Disabilities

  • A package with these 4 documents will be mailed to people who lived in these institutions and have been identified. Those who have moved or changed their name may not receive this package in the mail.

  • Call the claims office: 1-866-879-4915

    TTY: 1-877-627-7027

  • Online: www.HuroniaClassAction.ca

    www.RideauClassAction.ca

    www.SouthwesternClassAction.ca

  • We will also post to ARCH’s website


Claim process decisions
Claim Process: Decisions Disabilities

  • The claims office at Crawford and Company will read the Claim Form and decide if a person will get money and how much they will get.

  • Claimants must cash their cheques within 6 months after the date of the cheque. Failure to do so will forfeit their right to compensation.

  • Claimants can ask the claims office to reconsider only if the claims office decides they get no money. Claimants must ask for reconsideration within 21 days of the date of the letter telling them they get no money.

  • The amount of money cannot be reconsidered.


Claim form section a
Claim Form: Section A Disabilities

  • All claimants MUST complete section A to be eligible to receive compensation.

  • Claimant or someone else must check a box stating that they were harmed or hurt when they lived at Huronia (or Rideau or Southwestern) or a place where Huronia put them

  • Claimant or someone else must sign the form and make a solemn declaration that the information in the form is true.

  • Completing section A will entitle claimants to receive up to $2000


Claim form section b
Claim Form: Section B Disabilities

  • Allows claimants to write about specific incidences of harm or abuse they suffered

  • Claimants who complete section B may get more money, up to a maximum of $42,0000.

  • Claimants or someone else must sign the form and make a solemn declaration that the information in the form is true.


Writing about abuse in section b
Writing about abuse in Section B Disabilities

  • Settlement sets out 3 levels of abuse, each entitled to more money

  • These levels are described in the points allocation system on page 20 of Huronia or page 21 of Rideau & Southwestern settlements and via Schedule A, #1 (g) and (h) definitions of serious physical injury and serious sexual assault


Claim form section b1
Claim Form: Section B Disabilities

  • The highest amounts of money are awarded to Level 3 physical and sexual abuse. These are listed at the end of Section B.

  • To claim for these kinds of abuse, claimants or someone else must sign the form and swear an oath or affirmation in front of a commissioner, Notary or lawyer

  • Any medical or treatment records must be submitted with the Claim Form



Level 3 sexual abuse Disabilities


Supporting former residents to participate in the claims process
Supporting Former Residents to Participate in the Claims Process

  • Former residents should be given every opportunity to participate in the Claims process

  • Former residents must be provided with appropriate disability accommodations to support them to participate

    • Examples of accommodations: explaining the Claims Form in clear language, allowing as much time as the person needs, helping the person to write a draft before filling in the Claim Form, etc.


Filling in the form for someone else
Filling in the Form for Process Someone Else

  • Claim Form can be filled in by the claimant themselves, or someone else who is helping them.

  • Settlement says: if a former resident cannot complete the Claim Form then a personal representative or family member can do so

  • “personal representative” is not defined in the settlement

  • Personal representatives may be friends, family members, support workers, lawyers, etc.

  • We have used “support person” in the documents.


Former resident makes solemn declaration swears oath or affirmation
Former Resident makes Solemn Declaration/ Process Swears Oath or Affirmation

  • If former resident fills in the form by themselves.

  • If former resident cannot write, but tells support person what happened, and the support person fills in the form.

  • Some former residents may need accommodations in order to understand the meaning of solemn declaration or oath or affirmation.

  • Some former residents may not have a signature, but can make an “X” or mark


Support person makes solemn declaration swears oath or affirmation
Support Person makes Solemn Declaration/ Process Swears Oath or Affirmation

  • If former resident cannot give any information about what happened to them, then a support person or a Substitute Decision Maker fills in the form based on his or her own knowledge

  • We recommend that support person writes in their own words (eg: My brother, Max, lived at Huronia…I have knowledge of the things written in this form because …)

  • If a Substitute Decision Maker fills in the form and signs the solemn declaration or oath, they should provide a copy of their legal authority to act as Substitute Decision Maker for the former resident if they have this legal authority


Sdm makes solemn declaration swears oath or affirmation
SDM makes Solemn Declaration/ Process Swears Oath or Affirmation

  • Some former residents may have a Substitute Decision Maker for property, but still be able to fill in the Claim Form or tell a support person how to fill in the Claim Form.

  • Former resident fills in Claim Form OR former resident and SDM fill form together

  • SDM such at the Public Guardian and Trustee signs the Claim Form


Estates

Who can make a Claim for Someone who has Died? Process

Estates

  • Some estates may be able to claim depending on when the former resident died:

    • Huronia: died after April 21, 2007

    • Rideau: died after September 24, 2008

    • Southwestern: died after December 29, 2008

  • Person who fills in the form must have authority to act on behalf of the class member or their estate in respect of financial affairs as per the Settlement, Schedule A, 7(b)


Getting files from mcss
Getting Files from MCSS Process

  • These records may provide important evidence about the person’s residence and experiences.

  • Send a letter to the Ministry of Community and Social Services, giving the person’s name, contact information, stating that s/he is a former resident, and asking for the case file and any other information relating to the person’s residence.

  • No fee will be charged for requests of records related to the settlement.


Getting files from mcss1
Getting files from MCSS Process

  • Letter should include a photocopy of both front and back sides of a piece of ID that shows your photo, such as:

    Health cardDriver's licenceOntario photo cardPassportStatus cardCanadian citizenship card

  • If you do not have this kind of ID, you can still get your file. But first you must contact Cate Parker, FIPPA Coordinator for MCSS


Getting files from mcss2
Getting files from MCSS Process

Cate Parker

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Coordinator

Ministry of Community and Social Services PO Box 978, 77 Wellesley Street West Toronto ON M7A 1N3

[email protected]

  • A sample letter is available on the ARCH website http://www.archdisabilitylaw.ca/?q=node/844

    or can use Freedom of Information request, available online


What help can you provide
What Help Can You Provide? Process

  • Outreach to community members and publicizing the claims process so that people apply before the August 5 deadline

  • Helping people to get other supporting documents, such as their institutional files

  • Friends and family may have their own knowledge of abuse or harm that a former resident suffered. Assist friends and family members to support former residents to complete the claim form or to help support people connect with ARCH or a legal clinic so they can provide their own affidavits, to support the former resident’s claim

  • Letting people know about settlement workshops and/or holding your own workshops

  • Helping individuals to determine if they qualify as claimants

  • Helping those who qualify to fill in the form


THANK YOU Process

The information provided in these presentation materials are not intended to be legal advice. Consult a lawyer or legal worker if you need legal advice on a specific matter. The information in the presentation materials are current as of the date of the presentation.


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