St. John's lawyer Bob Buckingham says a $16.5-million settlement for victims of abuse by the Christian Brothers is just one more step in the process of getting justice for the claimants.

Buckingham represents dozens of the men from Newfoundland and Labrador who were abused by the brothers, almost all of them at Mount Cashel Orphanage.

The settlement reached Thursday involves 422 victims of abuse in Newfoundland and Labrador, and across the United States.

The terms of the settlement allow the victims to still pursue other legal action in the case.

Buckingham said the victims he has been representing still plan to go after the Roman Catholic Church.

"The Church was responsible for Mount Cashel for many years," said Buckingham. "And, as well, many of the boys were placed in Mount Cashel by parish priests around the province."

Buckingham said his clients have also set their sights on the Newfoundland and Labrador government.

"They were responsible for making sure Mount Cashel was properly run as a state institution, as an orphanage, and as a school."

Others feel betrayed

However, some other Mount Cashel abuse survivors have been feeling betrayed by this week's settlement.


Abuse survivor Billy Earle accepted an earlier settlement from the Christian Brothers in 2003. (CBC)

Billy Earle of St. John's was one of many victims who took a settlement from the Christian Brothers in 2003 on the condition that he accepted it as a final resolution.

Earle said he was told at the time that the money awarded to victims then was all that the Christian Brothers could afford. 

"They lied to us then," said Earle. "So I think anybody who settled back then should be entitled to whatever is available."

Process complete

The Christian Brothers fought hard for more than two decades to protect their assets against the claims of their victims, declaring bankruptcies in Canada and the United States.

With this latest settlement, the brothers have now completed their legal process with victims of abuse. 

Buckingham said for his clients, the fight for compensation will continue.

"We're not going to drop this," said Buckingham. "It'll go on as long as it takes."