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May 26, 2014 permalink
A class-action lawsuit is pending against the province of Ontario seeking damages for former foster children. Foster children suffer abuse that is subject to compensation through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and proceedings for civil damages. In practice no one makes claims on behalf of foster children. The suit seeks to recover damages that would have been paid had the province diligently pursued claims on behalf of its wards.
Expand to see the summary of the case by the law firm Koskie Minsky LLP and a news report on the litigation. The amended statement of claim is Holly Papassay and Toni Grann vs the Queen (Ontario) (pdf).
This litigation may make a law firm rich and get modest compensation for middle-aged former foster children all on the backs of today's taxpayers. The real abuse is not addressed. The damage to foster children comes not from stealing their money but stealing their parents.
Children’s Aid Class Action
This class action claims that the Ontario government systematically failed to take all necessary steps to protect the legal rights and claims of children in its care.
In Ontario, a child may be removed from the care of his or her parents and put into the care of the Province for reasons that include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or neglect. In Ontario, permanent wards for whom the Province has legal responsibility are called Crown wards.
Crown wards were victims of criminal abuse, neglect and tortious acts as children, and as a result of which, were removed from the care of their families and placed under the care of the Province of Ontario. These children were also victims of abuse, neglect, and tortious acts while they were under the age of 18 and in the care of Ontario.
As a result of the crimes and torts committed against them prior to and during their Crown Wardship, the class members were entitled to apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and to commence proceedings for civil damages.
The suit claims the province failed to take all necessary steps to protect the rights of Crown wards to apply for compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board or to file personal injury claims for children who were abused prior to or while in the care of the Province.
The class action seeks to include all persons who became Crown Wards in Ontario on or after January 1, 1966, the date that the Province of Ontario voluntarily accepted legal responsibility and guardianship of Crown wards.
Please contact Koskie Minsky LLP with any questions:
Source: Koskie Minsky LLP
Former Ontario foster kids launch $110M lawsuit against province
OTTAWA — At five years old, Carole Chretien-Rankin was taken from her family in Ottawa’s Lowertown neighbourhood — she's never known why, she says — and her identify was erased.
Soon after she was taken to the Orleans home with a brood of biological and foster kids, her foster mother threw out her favourite dress, cropped her long, dark hair and gave her a different name.
Then, she alleges, she was pushed, slapped, punched and spat on, strapped until she couldn't sit down and molested by a foster brother, lured with the promise of pizza — an unheard-of treat.
Told she was so worthless even her own parents didn't want her, she was forced to cook and clean instead of playing like other kids, Chretien-Rankin charges.
"I was a slave in that home," she said.
At 53, she doesn't even know how she looked as a little girl.
"I have no pictures of myself when I was young — they never took them," she said. "I have no memories — it's devastating. ... It's like I never existed."
But now Chretien-Rankin wants to be seen and heard.
She is one of 350 people who've come forward to join a proposed $110-million class action lawsuit alleging that Ontario systematically failed to protect the legal rights of children who became Crown wards starting in 1966.
People who were abused and neglected — before and after being taken into care — could have applied for compensation from a fund for victims of crime or through a civil suit.
But they got nothing because the province that was supposed to act as their parent didn't make claims on their behalf, collect evidence or even tell them they could seek the money, argued lawyer Garth
Myers of Koskie Minsky LLP, who suspects the class action could include 40,000 or more people.
"Their lives would have changed dramatically," he said. "They would have been able to get therapy to deal with the abuse. A lot of these people are suffering to this day as a result of the abuse they sustained then.
"With early intervention, they could have commenced the healing process at an early stage."
Myers, part of the $67-million settlement for harm suffered by residents of three regional centres for people with developmental disabilities, calls it "just another example of the province failing our most vulnerable people."
None of the allegations have been proven in court and a judge has yet to certify a class action.
The province has filed notice it intends to defend itself, but a spokesman for the Ministry of the Attorney General declined to comment.
Chretien-Rankin, who says she was threatened with more beatings if she told anyone about the abuse, escaped her foster home at 16, reclaimed her real name and became a mother of two sons and licensed hairstylist.
She loved her job but says it became too much as struggled with depression, anxiety and memory problems.
"It's time for me to release the pain," she said. "It's time for me to heal. It's destroyed me long enough.
I went without way too much in my life because of fear."
Source: Sun News