Huronia Regional Centre lawsuit ends in $35M settlement

The Ontario government has reached a $35-million settlement in a class-action lawsuit with former residents of the Huronia Regional Centre near Barrie, a former institution for people with disabilities that was accused of humiliation and abuse.

Residents of defunct centre operated by province alleged abuse happened daily

Class-action lawsuit ends for former residents of a defunct Ontario institution for people with disabilities 2:20

The Ontario government has reached a $35-million settlement in a class-action lawsuit with former residents of the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia, a former institution for people with disabilities that was accused of humiliation and abuse.

Plaintiffs had alleged that abuse was doled out almost daily at the centre operated by the province for 133 years. They had been seeking $2 billion.

CBC's Jeff Semple reported that a $35-million, tax-free settlement fund will be created for former residents.

The maximum individual payout under the agreement would be $42,000.

A lawyer for the province told Semple that it will also issue an apology.

The suit covered those institutionalized at the centre between 1945 and 2009, many of whom are now aged or dying.

Lawyers for the complainants had said the plaintiffs alleged they were "emotionally, physically and psychologically traumatized by their experiences at Huronia," which closed in 2009.

They alleged the province "breached its fiduciary, statutory and common law duties ... through the establishment, operation, and supervision of Huronia," and failed to care for and protect the plaintiffs.

The class action was certified in July 30, 2010.

With files from The Canadian Press

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