CHILD WELFARE FAILING TO PROTECT LEGAL RIGHTS CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
Mckenzie Lake Lawyers has settled the Failing to Protect Legal Rights Class Action. The terms of the settlement can be found at their website www.mckenzielake.com. This settlement is binding on everyone that did not opt out of the class action. What does the settlement mean? In this settlement the class members got something, but they gave up a huge amount.
What did the class members get in the settlement?
Under the terms of the class action settlement, people who were victims of child welfare abuse can apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime. This is no advantage as class members could have applied without a class action settlement. Many people successfully applied for crimes compensation before there was a settlement.
Under the terms of the class action settlement, people who successfully apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime after the settlement will be charged a fee by the law firm of Mckenzie Lake Lawyers, whether Mckenzie Lake Lawyers helps them to apply for compensation or not. This is a disadvantage of the settlement because class members are being charged legal fees without receiving any assistance to complete their applications.
Under the terms of the class action settlement, people who are not successful with their application because they applied too late, can apply to have an extension of time through a process created by the settlement. This is an advantage.
Under the terms of the class action settlement, people can only get the amount of compensation that is available now under the Victims of Crime Act. This is a disadvantage because the amount of compensation a victim of crime received before August 1, 1997 was higher than it is now.
What did the class members give up in the settlement?
When the In the class action lawsuit was started, the class members were asking that the victims of Child Welfare receive the amount of compensation that they could have received if Child Welfare had made an application for crimes compensation when they told child welfare that they were a victim of a crime. Before August 1, 1997, victims did not have a limit to the amount of compensation that they could receive. A victim of childhood sexual abuse could have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from crimes compensation/victims of crime. Therefore, if Child Welfare knew that a child was injured before August 1, 1997, and if Child Welfare had applied for compensation, there was no limit to the amount of compensation that the child could have received. Unfortunately, the maximum that a victim can receive now is only $110,000 and the maximum for psychological injuries is only $30,000. Therefore, the Class Action was originally seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims suffering severe psychological injuries, however, under the terms of the settlement, the maximum that a victim can recover is only $30,000 for psychological injuries. Under the terms of the settlement, each victim might have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to what they could have received.
Another important thing that the Class Action does not include is it does not provide any help to victims to apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime. Applying for crimes compensation/victims of crime can be extremely difficult and complex. The settlement does not provide any mechanism for victims to receive help to make applications. This is a serious deficiency for Class Members.
Another very important part of the original Class Action was suing Child Welfare because Child Welfare did not help children to sue their abuser. Therefore, if a child was sexually or physically abused by a foster parent, for example, the Class Action was intended to hold Child Welfare accountable for not helping the child to consider suing the foster parents for the abused child. If a foster parents physically or sexually abused a child or severely neglected a child, that child could have sued the foster parent for hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars. The Class Action argued that because Child Welfare did not consider suing the foster parents for the children, the children have lost the ability to sue the foster parents because too much time has passed. Unfortunately, McKenzie Lake Lawyers dropped this claim completely as a term of the settlement. This means that every single person in the Class Action can NOT sue Child Welfare for knowing that the child should have sued their foster parent for abuse, but they did not. Therefore, every chld in the Class Action that was, for example, abused by a foster parent and suffered severe injuries, has possibly lost hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions of dollars throughout the negotiated settlement.
The Class Action Settlement that was made by the Mckenzie Lake Lawyers and was approved by the Court basically allows Class Members to apply for victims of Crime benefits, when they already had this right, if a Class Member gets turned down because they applied too late, they might be able to have their time to apply extended, but they will only get the compensation that is available now and not the higher amount that was available before August 1, 1997. What is most important about this settlement is it gave away the right of each Class Member to seek hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars from Child Welfare. I am not aware of the legal reasons why McKenzie Lake Lawyers dropped the claim against Child Welfare that Child Welfare ought to have helped Class Members to consider suing foster parents that abused the Class Members. If you would like to know why this claim was dropped, you may wish to ask McKenzie Lake Lawyers.
In the Alberta Child Welfare Service Plan Class Action, a similar allegation is being made against Child Welfare. The Service Plan Class Action alleges that Child Welfare ought to have helped children in the care of Child Welfare to consider suing Child Welfare for Child Welfare not making service plans, not filing service plans in Court and keeping children without a valid Court Order. Therefore, a very similar issue was certified as a common issue in the Service Plan Class Action, but McKenzie Lake Lawyers dropped the claim.
What can I do now if I am a Class Member in the failing to apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime lawsuit?
There are two things that you can do if you are a Class Member in the failing to apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime lawsuit. You can:
a) apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime and
b) try to take steps to protect your legal rights to sue Child Welfare.
Applying for crimes compensation/victims of crime
You can apply for crimes compensation on your own. Their are legal technicalities required to successfully apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime, so if you try to apply on your won, you might not be successful or you might not get the correct amount of compensation.
You can try to find a lawyer to help you to apply for compensation.
You can ask Mckenzie Lake Lawyers to help you to apply for compensation. I do not know if McKenzie Lake is actually helping people to make their applications, but it will not hurt to ask, since they are going to charge you a fee whether they help you or not.
If you would like me to help you with your application, I may be able to help you, but I am extremely busy. If you want me to help you to apply for crimes compensation/victims of crime, then please fill out the questionnaire for applying for crimes compensation/victims of crime, which will be added to this website in the near future.
Trying to protect my legal rights against Child Welfare
If you were abused or injured while in the care of Child Welfare, the Class Action settlement has taken away a very important legal right that you had to sue Child Welfare for failing to consider suing for you. This right that you had has been lost because of the class action settlement. You may have lost this right without even understanding that you had lost this important right.
However, all is not lost. Children that were in the care of Child Welfare have many rights. The Class Action Settlement took away one right of Class Members, but it did not take away all of your rights. If you were abused while in the care of Child Welfare, for example by a foster parent or a Child Welfare worker, you may still be able to sue Child Welfare, the foster parents or whoever else is responsible for your abuse.
If you would like to find out if you can still sue Child Welfare, your foster parents or anyone else who harmed you while you were in the care of Child Welfare, then please fill out the questionnaire for suing Child Welfare, which will be added to this website in the near future.