Automotive Residential School Abuses
Ross MacDonald School (formerly the Ontario School for the Blind)
The claims period in this proceeding has ended. The administrator is assessing claims which have been made and will communicate decisions after all assessments have been completed.
February 28, 2018
The total compensation calculations have been made and payment is anticipated to be made in 4-6 weeks.
September 5, 2017
The claims period has now started. To make a claim for abuse and ask for compensation, you must submit a claim form by November 7, 2017. You can access a word version of the claim form by clicking here and a PDF fillable version by clicking here.
June 8, 2017
The reasons from the court approving the settlement have been released. To read those reasons, click here. For a Word version of the reasons, please click here.
June 7, 2017
The proposed settlement in this class action has been approved by the court. There is a 30 day waiting period before the settlement is final. After 30 days, claim forms will be distributed. PDFs of the orders from the court approving the settlement and the lawyer’s fees can be read here and here. Word versions of the orders approving the settlement and lawyer’s fees can be read here and here.
May 31, 2017
The settlement approval hearing will be held at 330 University Ave. in Toronto in courtroom 5-0.
May 17, 2017
The hearing to decide if the settlement in this lawsuit will go ahead will occur on June 6 in Toronto. The court room will be posted here for anyone who wishes to attend.
April 25, 2017
The long form notice is now available to review. The long form notice describes the proposed settlement and you can access it by clicking here. A shorter summary of the settlement can be reviewed by clicking here.
April 12, 2017
The hearing to decide whether the proposed settlement is approved by the court will happen on June 6, 2017 in Toronto at 10:00 am. The court room and address will be posted here once available.
April 4, 2017
The parties have reached a tentative settlement to resolve all claims in the class action and avoid the common issues trial that was scheduled to commence on April 3, 2017. The proposed settlement must be approved by the Court. A hearing to determine whether the settlement is in the best interests of the class will be scheduled shortly. In the next several weeks, notice of that hearing will be disseminated. A copy of the Settlement Agreement can be found here.
April 3, 2017
The common issues trial that was scheduled to commence on April 3, 2017 has been adjourned. More information will be posted in the coming days.
February 9, 2017
The parties are attending a mediation on February 14th. The mediation is to see if the case can be settled. If the case cannot be settled, it will go to trial.
December 2, 2016
The defendant has served will say statements. The plaintiff’s response to a request to admit is due on December 15.
October 4, 2016
The plaintiff has served the will-say statements of witnesses for the trial and a further request to admit on the defendant.
April 26, 2016
The trial is scheduled to commence on March 27, 2017 for 8 weeks. A trial judge will be assigned in the Fall of 2016.
January 18, 2016
The parties will attend a mediation with Ronald G. Slaght on February 22 and 23, 2016.
September 4, 2015
The parties will be attending a pretrial conference on September 18, 2015 with The Honourable Justice McEwen in Toronto. The parties will attempt to narrow the issues that are to be heard at the common issues trial scheduled to begin in January, 2017.
January 29, 2015
Representative plaintiff, Mr. Seed, will be further examined for discovery on Friday, February 20, 2015 in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
September 16, 2014
Master Abrams delivered her decision on September 15, 2014 from the refusals motion heard on August 13, 2014. Master Abrams ordered 20 questions refused by the defendant from examinations for discovery to be answered. These answers will help narrow the issues and will greatly assist class counsel at the hearing of the common issues trial.
July 14, 2014
Counsel attended at trial scheduling court on July 9, 2014 to obtain a date for the common issues trial. Justice Himel scheduled the common issues trial to be heard over 15 weeks, beginning on January 3, 2017. In addition, a pre-trial hearing is scheduled to be conducted on September 17, 2015.
Counsel have exchanged factums and are preparing for the refusals motion to be heard on August 12, 2014 in front of Master Abrams. Both sides are seeking to compel answers to questions refused at the examinations for discovery held in 2013.
April 24, 2014
The action has been set down for trial and there is a schedule for exchange of expert reports by the end of 2014. The parties are seeking a date for the common issues trial.
January 22, 2014
The plaintiffs conducted additional examinations of the Crown’s representative in November 2013. There were a large number of undertakings and questions that the Crown refused to answer. It will be another couple months before the Crown provides the answers to its undertakings and there may be a motion in the next few months to determine if the Crown should answer the questions refused. The timetable has been revised so that any re-attendance for examination for discovery would have to occur by June 30, 2014.
October 29, 2013
The Crown’s productions have exceeded 50,000 documents, which we are reviewing. The examinations for discovery of the Crown’s representative, Don Neil, is continuing at the end of November 2013.
July 25, 2013
Class counsel conducted the first round of examinations for discovery of the Crown’s representative, Don Neil, from July 22-23, 2013. Class counsel will conduct further examinations for discovery of Mr. Neil in September-October of 2013. These further examinations are necessary as a result of the Crown’s production of approximately 25,000 documents to date.
June 15, 2013
The Crown conducted an examination for discovery of the representative plaintiff Robert Seed on June 11, 2013. Class counsel will conduct an examination for discovery of the Crown’s representative during the week of July 22, 2013. The Crown has to date produced approximately 18,000 documents and continues to produce many more.
April 23, 2013
The plaintiffs have learned that certain medical records of current and former students are in the possession of health information custodians including physicians at the school’s onsite infirmary and were not previously produced to the plaintiffs. On April 11, 2013, Justice Conway granted an order requiring those health information custodians served with the order to produce medical records to the defendant, and requiring the defendant to provide these records to class counsel. A copy of the order can be viewed here.
March 6, 2013
The defendants have been providing documentary production on a rolling basis. We have begun to review the documents in preparation for examinations for discovery in the late summer or fall of this year.
November 27, 2012
The court has approved the following timetable for the exchange of relevant documents and oral examinations for discovery in this action:
June 1, 2013 Deadline for exchange of documentary productions August 31, 2013 Examinations for discovery to be completed October 31, 2013 Deadline to bring motions arising from discovery January 15, 2014 Re-attendance for discoveries, if necessary, to be completed
The defendants have already begun to provide their relevant documents.
October 2, 2012
The defendant has served its statement of defence and the plaintiff has responded with a reply. All of the pleadings in this action can be viewed in the documents section of this website (available in PDF and text formats).
June 23, 2012
The court has approved a notice of certification, which among other things explains what the class action is about and how a person can take steps if they do not want to participate in the class action. Please click here to review the notice. Please click here for the opt out form.
May 7, 2012
The court has certified this action as a class action. The court rejected all of the defendant’s arguments opposing certification. There will be a notice of certification that sets out the class definition and the option for anyone who does not want to participate in the class action. The court’s certification decision can be found here.
January 26, 2012
We have completed our materials for the upcoming certification motion and are starting to prepare for the hearing in April. The certification motion is not a trial or a consideration of the merits of the case. At the certification motion, the court considers whether this case is appropriate to continue as a class action as opposed to many individual actions. We argue that this action, similar to other actions alleging abuse, is appropriate to be a class action.
November 3, 2011
The parties have exchanged affidavit evidence for the certification motion. The Plaintiff Robert Seed along with other former students of W. Ross MacDonald swore affidavits. The Defendant Ontario has decided it will only cross-examine Mr. Seed on his affidavit, which will take place in approximately two weeks.
June 9, 2011
The certification motion is scheduled for April 10, 11, 12 and 13 2012 and will take place at Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West, Toronto, Courtroom 5.
March 1, 2011
The statement of claim was issued on February 22, 2011. The next step in the action will be the motion for certification.
- February 28, 2018
News Releases and Reports
- July 12, 2017 Claim Form
- July 12, 2017 Claim Form (Word Version)
- June 7, 2017 Reasons for Judgment
- June 7, 2017 Reasons for Judgment (unofficial version in text)
- June 7, 2017 Order re Fee Approval
- June 7, 2017 Order re Fee Approval (unofficial version in text)
- June 7, 2017 Order re Settlement Approval
- June 7, 2017 Order re Settlement Approval (unofficial version in text)
- April 25, 2017 Short Form Notice
- April 25, 2017 Long Form Notice
- April 4, 2017 Settlement Agreement (unofficial version in text)
- April 4, 2017 Settlement Agreement
- September 15, 2014 Endorsement of Master Abrams (unofficial version in text)
- September 15, 2014 Endorsement of Master Abrams
- June 10, 2013 Case Conference Minutes
- April 11, 2013 Order (unofficial version in text)
- April 11, 2013 Order
- September 10, 2012 Reply (unofficial version in text)
- September 10, 2012 Reply of the Plaintiff
- August 22, 2012 Statement of Defence (unofficial version in text)
- August 22, 2012 Statement of Defence of HMQ
- August 8, 2012 Reasons for Costs Judgement (unofficial version in text)
- August 8, 2012 Reasons for Costs Judgement
- June 23, 2012 Coupon de retraite
- June 23, 2012 Opt Out Coupon
- June 23, 2012 Notice of Certification
- June 23, 2012 Avis de Certification
- May 4, 2012 Reasons for Certification (unofficial version in text)
- May 4, 2012 Reasons for Certification
- May 4, 2012 Certification Order (unofficial version in text)
- May 4, 2012 Certification Order
- March 19, 2012 Factum of the Defendant (unofficial version in text)
- March 19, 2012 Factum of the Defendant
- January 25, 2012 Factum of the Plaintiff (unofficial version in text)
- January 25, 2012 Factum of the Plaintiff
- January 24, 2012 Amended Statement of Claim (unofficial version in text)
- January 24, 2012 Amended Statement of Claim
- February 22, 2011 Statement of Claim (unissued version in text)
- February 22, 2011 Statement of Claim Issued February 22, 2011
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.
Toll Free Hotline: 1.888.233.2852
CBC Metro Morning: http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Ontario/Metro+Morning/ID/2615298264/
Toronto Sun: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/11/20/former-students-suing-provincially-run-school-for-alleged-abus
Family Caregivers UNITE: http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/62678/blind-students-class-action-against-a-school-for-the-blind-and-visually-impaired