A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of individuals abused at government-run youth homes in Newfoundland has reached a multi-million dollar settlement. The proposed settlement agreement represents over 70 individuals who were abused at Newfoundland Training Schools. There were two schools in Newfoundland, Whitbourne and St. John’s, where employees, priests, and even older children, committed sexual abuse.
Some children at the schools that were sexually abused have had severe, long-lasting bodily injuries. In one instance, a victim even had a child after their experience. Individuals part of the class action say that many of them have never fully recovered from what occurred. However, even with the settlement, the province still isn’t admitting any liability.
The lawsuit was filed back in 2014 and was certified to proceed as a class action in 2019. The recently reached settlement agreement will help create a sense of closure for the individuals that have been in this long process. Additionally, a “trauma-informed process” will occur to help give class members autonomy in the procedures. This includes limiting potential events that could lead to the traumatic process of reliving the events that occurred.
The next step in the court procedure is finding a hearing date for the judge to approve the settlement. After that, the plaintiff’s counsel can begin the process of notifying members and distributing the funds.