Crown Ward Class Action
This class action is a “procedural rights” case that alleges that Ontario owed Crown Wards who had experienced abuse a duty to advise of rights to civil claims (lawsuits) and administrative remedies (the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board). This case also alleges that Ontario had a duty, when appropriate, to facilitate or pursue those claims and remedies for Crown Wards.
Ontario is the only Defendant. Neither individual abusers nor independent Children’s Aid Society (“CAS”) entities, which had responsibility for placing and supervising Crown Wards and authority to start claims on their behalves, are named as defendants.
When the action was commenced in 2014, there were limitation periods which may have barred lawsuits against individual abusers (and any organizations responsible for the abuse). However, in 2016, the law was changed to eliminate limitation periods for civil claims of sexual assault and physical abuse of minors, which might have otherwise barred recovery for some class members. Class members are encouraged to seek legal advice about pursuing such claims.
Class members who experienced abuse before or while they were Crown Wards may also wish to make a claim for compensation from the Victim Quick Response Program (VQRP+). Information about getting assistance with the VQRP+ is available here: https://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/ovss/vqrp.php.
This class action was certified by the Superior Court of Justice on March 30, 2017. The class includes all persons who became Crown Wards in Ontario between January 1, 1966 and March 30, 2017.
On May 26, 2021, the Superior Court of Justice dismissed a motion for approval of a proposed settlement of this class action. On September 20, 2021, the Divisional Court denied the parties’ motion for permission to appeal this decision.
This class action remains ongoing. Moving forward, we will continue to do what we have done since this case started eight years ago: work diligently to advance the best interests of the class as a whole.