Sheila Morrison School
|The deadline for submitting claims in the Sheila Morrison class action has been extended to August 15, 2013. Any former student seeking compensation who has not filed a claim should submit a claim as soon as possible.|
This class proceeding concerns the operation of an educational facility responsible for the care and control of children with learning disabilities.
Since 1977, the Sheila Morrison School (the “School”) has provided a private residential and day school program to children with perceived and actual learning disabilities. It is alleged that the Defendants’ failure to care for, protect and act in the best interests of the Students resulted in loss or injury suffered by them, including psychological trauma, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and exacerbation of existing mental disabilities.
This action was certified as a class proceeding by the Honourable Mr. Justice Perell on June 7, 2010. The class of persons it seeks to represent is detailed in the Statement of Claim, issued on May 27, 2009. Generally, it is comprised of all persons who resided at the School or attended as day students between 1977 and 2009, as well as certain of their family members.
The parties have reached a $4 million settlement of the Sheila Morrison Schools class action. In return for this payment, there will be a comprehensive release of all claims against the defendants. You can review the entire settlement agreement by clicking on the settlement tab on the right margin of this page.
To view additional information about the settlement and the claims process, please click here.
Koskie Minsky LLP representents the Plaintiff in this action.
July 10, 2013
The deadline for submitting claims in the Sheila Morrison class action has been extended to August 15, 2013. Any former student seeking compensation who has not filed a claim should submit a claim as soon as possible. If you are aware of other former students who may not be aware of the claims process, please let them know. The claims form is available on the settlement page of the website or by clicking here. [Link no longer available]
March 18, 2013
Former students can now file claims seeking compensation from the settlement funds. The claims form is available on the settlement page of the website.
March 12, 2013
The court approved the $4 million settlement of this action. The claims process will begin shortly and there will be notice to the class regarding how to make claims. The claims form should be available on this website by the week of March 18, 2013.
February 11, 2013
The parties have entered a $4 million settlement of the class action, subject to court approval. There will be a hearing in Toronto on March 12, 2013 where the court will consider approval of the settlement. Click here for more details on the settlement, including the court-approved notice.
January 8, 2013
The Plaintiffs have reached a tentative settlement for an all-inclusive amount of $4 million. This settlement is subject to court approval. The court has not yet set the date to consider the settlement. A further update will be provided setting out the court date and location once it is known.
October 2, 2012
The plaintiffs experts are to give their opinions on the appropriate standards in operating a private school and experts to give their opinion on the harm that students would suffer in attending the school. Many class members have assisted the experts in this process and continue to provide assistance to the experts. To date, the plaintiffs have served on the defendants four expert reports addressing these issues. The defendants are required to provide responding reports by October 31, 2012.
February 27, 2012
The Divisional Court has set aside the order permitting third party claims against parents and guardians. The action will proceed as against the defendants alone. A copy of the Divisional Court’s reasons can be seen here. [Link no longer available]
October 17, 2011
The plaintiffs have been granted leave to appeal from the decision to allow the defendants to advance third party claims against parent and guardians. The date for the appeal is not yet set.
August 16, 2011
The examinations for discovery took place on August 3, 4 and 11, 2011 and are now complete, subject to answers to undertakings and refusals.
July 26, 2011
The Defendants have recently amended their statement of defence. Among other things, they allege the parents and guardians of students knew what was happening at the school and allowed it to continue. The Plaintiffs have filed a Reply denying this allegation. The Reply provides that the parents and guardians of students did not accept the Defendants’ treatment of students and were not aware of it.
The Defendants have also been granted permission by the court to advance third party claims against the parents and guardians. They allege the parents and guardians bear some responsibility for what took place at the school. These claims have been stayed until the resolution of the common issues trial and will not significantly impact the progress of this class proceeding. Nevertheless, the Plaintiffs are seeking leave to appeal in order to overturn that decision and prevent the third party claims. The motion for leave to appeal is scheduled for September 21, 2011.
May 4, 2011
The examinations for discovery are scheduled for August 2011, which will include an examination of Scott Morrison.
December 14, 2010
The parties are in the discovery stage of this class action. They have begun to exchange relevant documents and are scheduling oral examinations.
June 23, 2010
Notice to the class regarding the certification of this action as a class proceeding will be published in the Toronto Star, the Barrie Advance and the Barrie Examiner in the coming weeks. Class Members have until October 5, 2010 to opt out of the class action by completing an Opt Out Coupon and forwarding it to Class Counsel. You can obtain a copy of the Notice and the Opt Out Coupon by accessing the “Documents” link to the right of this page.
June 7, 2010
By reasons dated June 7, 2010, the Honourable Mr. Justice Perell certified this action as a class proceeding on consent. Notice to the class will be published shortly.
May 20, 2010
The Defendants, now represented by their insurers, have consented to the certification of this action as a class proceeding. The certification motion, now scheduled for June 7, 2010, will proceed on consent before the Honourable Mr. Justice Perell.
March 10, 2010
A case conference was convened at which the Defendants’ insurers requested an adjournment of the certification motion, scheduled for April 7-9, 2010, to permit them to investigate and defend the action, if applicable. The Honourable Justice Perell granted the adjournment request upon strict terms and set a new timetable which is peremptory upon the Defendants. The certification motion is now scheduled for June 7-8, 2010.
February 25, 2010
The Plaintiffs served their factum in support of the motion for certification scheduled for April 7-9, 2010. The Defendants have not filed any materials in response to the affidavits filed by the Plaintiffs nor have they conducted any cross-examinations. The Defendants’ factum in opposition to the Plaintiffs’ motion for certification is due March 31, 2010.
November 18, 2009
The Defendants served their Statement of Defence to the action. The Defendants have not served any evidence in response to the Plaintiffs’ materials filed in support of certification of this action as a class proceeding.
August 18, 2009
At the August 18, 2009 case conference, the Defendants’ counsel was removed as solicitor of record by order of the Honourable Justice Perell. The Sheila Morrison Schools will now be represented by Mr. Scott Morrison personally. At the case conference the Plaintiffs were advised that the Sheila Morrison School will not be operating in the 2009/2010 school year.
July 7, 2009
A case conference was held before the Honourable Mr. Justice Perell, at which time a timetable for the return of the certification motion was set. The certification motion is now scheduled to be heard April 7-9, 2010
July 2, 2009
The Class Proceedings Fund approves the Plaintiff’s application and grants funding to this class action.
May 27, 2009
The Statement of Claim in this action was issued.
- July 10, 2013
- March 17, 2013 Class Action Claim Form Instruction Sheet
- March 17, 2013 Class Action Claim Form
- March 17, 2013 Court Approved Notice of the Settlement Approval
- March 11, 2013 Reasons for Decision
- March 11, 2013 Order (Settlement & Fee Approval)
- March 11, 2013 Claims Process
- February 6, 2013 Distribution of Compensation Fund to Claimants
- February 6, 2013 Order (Notice of Fairness Hearing)
- February 6, 2013 Settlement Agreement
- February 6, 2013 Court Approved Notice
- February 23, 2012 Order dated February 24, 2012
- February 23, 2012 Endorsement dated February 24, 2012
- September 22, 2011 Order dated September 23, 2011
- June 22, 2010 Opt Out Coupon
- June 22, 2010 Notice of Certification
- June 6, 2010 Certification Order dated June 7, 2010
- June 6, 2010 Reasons for Decision dated June 7, 2010
- March 9, 2010 Direction of the Honourable Mr. Justice Perell dated March 10, 2010
- March 9, 2010 Endorsement of the Honourable Mr. Justice Perell dated March 10, 2010
- November 13, 2009 Statement of Defence, November 14, 2009
- August 17, 2009 Endorsement of the Honourable Mr. Justice Perell dated August 18, 2009
- May 26, 2009 Statement of Claim (issued May 27, 2009)
What is a class action?
A class action is a lawsuit which provides a method for a large group of people with common claims to join together to advance one large claim. Class actions are a more efficient and cost-effective way for groups of people with common claims to gain access to the legal system and seek justice.
What does certification mean?
In order for an action to proceed as a class action, the court must determine whether it is appropriate for the case to be treated as a class action. Some of the factors the courts consider are the extent to which the claims of the class members are common, and whether a class action is preferable to other methods (such as individual actions) of advancing the issues. The decision as to whether a class action should be certified takes place at a certification hearing and is decided by a judge. If certified, a representative plaintiff will advance the action on behalf of all of the class members.
How do I know if I am a Class Member?
The certification order will always contain a description of who is a class member. We post the certification orders in our actions so that you can review them. You do not need to “sign up” to become involved in a class action. If you are included in the class description, you are automatically a class member who will be affected by the outcome of the class action unless you decide to “opt out”.
Are Class Members notified of the certification of the class proceeding?
Yes. After the claim has been certified, the court will authorize notice to be given to the members of the class.
Can I opt out of a class action and pursue independent legal action?
Yes. When a class action is certified, class members are always given an opportunity to opt out of the action. A deadline is imposed for opting out. If you do not opt out by the given deadline, class members will be bound by the outcome of the class action, whether it is successful or unsuccessful. If you opt out, you will not receive any benefit if the action is successful.
Will there be any cost to class members for legal fees?
Typically, class actions are handled on a contingency fee basis, which means that the class action lawyers will be paid only if the class action is successful at trial or settled. In that case, class counsel fees may be paid by the defendants or out of the settlement or judgment proceeds as approved by the court. In addition, the plaintiff may seek funding assistance from the Class Proceeding Fund which, if funding is granted, may provide funding for disbursements.
I still have questions…
Please feel to contact us by using the contact information on this site.
$4 Million Settlement of Sheila Morrison Schools Class Action
The parties have reached a $4 million settlement of the Sheila Morrison Schools class action. In return for this payment, there will be a comprehensive release of all claims against the defendants. You can review the entire settlement agreement by clicking on the settlement agreement link below.
The settlement proceeds will be paid to class members pursuant to a claims process after deductions for class counsel fees, disbursements, mandatory payments to the Class Proceedings Fund, a $10,000 honorarium payment to the representative plaintiffs and administration costs. Generally, compensation is based on how long a person attended the school as a student and any incidents of abuse. Examples of the range of possible compensation is provided in the claims process. There is a link below to the claims process.
Former students of Sheila Morrison Schools may file a claim to receive compensation from the settlement. To make a claim, former students must complete the Class Action Claims Form (select link below) and send it by email, fax or regular mail to the claims administrator, Crawford Class Action Services (“Crawford”):
Sheila Morrison Class Action Claims Administrator, c/o Crawford Class Action Services
3-505, 133 Weber St North
Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 3G9
ALL CLAIMS MUST BE SENT TO CRAWFORD BY NO LATER THAN AUGUST 15, 2013.
Court Approved Notice of Settlement Approval
Class Action Claim Form Instruction Sheet
Class Action Claim Form
Order (Settlement Approval)
Reasons for Decision
Press Release dated March 19, 2013