Nfld. & Labrador

Residential schools class-action may be settled in June

A class-action lawsuit against the federal government and operators of residential schools in this province is heading to mediation in five months.
Parties involved in a class-action lawsuit in relation to neglect and abuse suffered by former students at residential schools will head to mediation in June. (CBC)

A class-action lawsuit against the federal government and operators of residential schools in this province is heading to mediation in five months. 

The lawsuit — involving more than 1,000 people who say they were neglected and abused at residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador — was slated to go to trial on Nov. 18.

However, the case was delayed at the defence lawyers' request. 

According to lawyer Ches Crosbie, all groups will head to mediation on June 9 and 10. 

"The decision to engage in settlement talks came about in discussion with the case management judge before lawyers for residential school survivors put forward a formal application for mediation," Crosbie said.

The plaintiffs were excluded from a settlement in 2005 because, according to Crosbie, "they had no [organizational] representation in Newfoundland and Labrador at the time."

The current suit is filed against the Government of Canada, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Moravian entitles and the Grenfell Association.  

If a settlement is reached following mediation, Crosbie said it could take months for money to be dispersed. 

If mediation isn't successful, the trial will begin on Sept. 28