CHILD WELFARE CLASS ACTION #1

CHILD WELFARE FAILING TO PROTECT LEGAL RIGHTS BETWEEN JULY 1, 1966 and FEBRUARY 19, 2008

  • Failing to help children in the care of Child Welfare between July 1, 1966 and February 19, 2008 to sue third parties (not the Government)
  • Failing to help children in care between July 1, 1966 and February 19, 2008 to apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act
  • Failing to help children in care between August 1, 1997 and February 19, 2008 to apply for crimes compensation under the Victims of Crime Act

T.L., R.M. and J.S.
v.
Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Alberta as represented by The Director of Child Welfare and The Public Trustee
Docket: 0403 12898

Table of Contents

The Claims Against Alberta Child Welfare
1. Failing to help children in the care of Child Welfare between July, 1 1966 and February 19, 2008 to sue third parties (individuals that are not part of the Government)
2. Failing to help children in care between July 1 1966 and February 19, 2008 to apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act
3. Failing to help children in care between February 19, 1997 and February 19, 2008 to apply for crimes compensation under the Victims of Crime Act
Summary of the Claims against Alberta Child Welfare
History of the Case
The Settlement
What do SOME Class Members get from the Settlement.
What do the Class Members Give Up from the Settlement
Failing to Help Sue
Failing to Apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act
The Right to Apply for crimes compensation under the Victims of Crime Act
90% of Class Members get NO Benefit
10% of Class Members get a Benefit from the Settlement
Legal Fees
The Application to the Court of Queen’s Bench to Approve the Settlement
The Application to the Court of Appeal for permission to Appeal the Settlement
What Next???
Making a Law Society Complaint against McKenzie Lake Lawyers
The Court Process
The Second Class Action against Alberta Child Welfare (Kidnapping)
Individual Lawsuit
Documents

The Claims Against Alberta Child Welfare

This Class Action was filed in Court by three individuals, T.L., R.M, and J.S. (the Plaintiffs) who had been in the care of Alberta Child Welfare.  Robert P. Lee started the Class Action.  The Class Action applies only to individuals that were in the care or Alberta Child Welfare between July 1, 1966 and February 19, 2008. There were three basic claims that were made against Alberta Child Welfare:

1.  Failing to help children in the care of Child Welfare between July, 1 1966 and February 19, 2008 to sue third parties (individuals that are not part of the Government)

Children that were in the care of Alberta Child Welfare who had been injured had the right to sue the person that injured them.  The injury could have been from being assaulted, sexually assaulted, neglected or in a car accident, to name a few examples.  Because Alberta Child Welfare was the guardian (parent role) of the Plaintiffs, we argued that Alberta Child Welfare had a duty to help them to sue for their injuries.  The financial loss that the children in care lost because Alberta Child Welfare did not help the children in care to sue is what the children in care would have been able to receive if the children in care had been given help to sue.

This Class Action only applied to children in care that were injured by individuals who were not part of the Government. Individuals who are not part of the Government are called “Third Parties”. They are called “Third parties” because they are not the Class Member and they are not a Government employee. If you were injured by an employee of the Government then go to the section of this website called Alberta Child Welfare Lawsuit Category 3 – Abused or Injured by Alberta Child Welfare.

If the injury was caused by something like a car accident, the loss is what the car insurance company would have paid to the injured child in care plus the lost interest from the time that Alberta Child Welfare should have helped the child in care to sue until the present time.

If the injury was caused by something like an assault or a sexual assault, then the loss is whatever the child in care would have received from the person that injured the child in care.  In some cases, there would not have been a good reason to sue if the abuser did not have any money and did not have any insurance.  However, if the abuser owned a house and had savings or had insurance that would have covered the injury, then there would have been a good reason to sue.

The amount that the child in care could have received would be based on how severe the injury was and how much the medical treatment would cost and how much wages the child in care lost.  For example, if a child in care suffered severe sexual abuse from a foster parent, it is possible that the child would have received one or two hundred thousand dollars for pain and suffering.  The child could have received ten or  twenty thousand dollars for counseling costs.  The child also could have received several hundred thousands of dollars for lost wages.  For example if the child suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the sexual abuse and could not work because of the PTSD, and if that child should have been able to earn $20,000 per year and they would have worked for 30 years, that is a loss of $600,000.  Therefore, if the lawsuit was successful, some children in care could have been entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars and even millions of dollars in very serious cases, such as brain injuries.

2.  Failing to help children in care to apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act

Before August 1, 1997, there was a law called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.  Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, a victim of a crime could receive financial compensation for any financial injuries that they suffered as a result of a crime.  For example, if a victim was assaulted, ripped their clothes, lost teeth, suffered from Post Traumatic Stress disorder, and could not work, they would receive compensation for the cost of the clothes, the cost of the dental work, the cost of counseling, and any lost wages.  Before August 1, 1997 there was no limit to the amount of compensation that a victim could receive under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.  Therefore, if the clothes cost $100, the dental work cost $5,000, the therapy cost $10,000 and the person was earning $20,000/ year and could not work for 5 years, that person could have received $115,100.00.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Act had a time limit of 2 years to apply, so if a victim applied after 2 years they could not get compensation unless they were allowed to apply late.  Applying late was permitted sometimes, but not all of the time.

Many children in care suffered from crimes of physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect before 1997, so they should have been able to apply under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.  However, if Alberta Child Welfare as the guardian (parent role)  did not apply for compensation for the child, or did not tell the child or the child’s family about the right to apply under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, then the child might have lost the compensation because they applied late. If an application was not made for the child before August 1, 1997, then the child could not apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.   The child would have lost the ability to apply under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.

Therefore, if a child suffered sexual abuse from a foster parent before August 1, 1997, they could have applied for compensation for counseling costs and lost wages.  If that child suffered PTSD and could not work because of the PTSD, that could have been compensation of $20,000/year for the entire time that the child could not work.  If a child, lets call her Amy,  was born in 1970, was sexually abused in 1980, went into care in 1982, turned 18 in 1988, and then could not work because of PTSD and drug and alcohol problems, then Amy might have been able to obtain $20,000/year from 1988 until 2017, for a total of $620,000.  But if Alberta Child Welfare, did not make an application for Amy and did not tell Amy to make an application on her own, then Amy would have lost the right to apply for and get $620,000 plus interest under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.

3. Failing to help children in care to apply for crimes compensation under the Victims of Crime Act after 1997

On August 1, 1997, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act was replaced by the Victims of Crime Act.  The amount of compensation changed from being unlimited to having a maximum limit of $110,000.  The limit for psychological injuries was even less and initially decreased to $35,000.  This meant that in the example above, Amy would only be able to receive a maximum of $35,000 for the PTSD injuries from sexual abuse if she applied after August 1, 1997; whereas she could have been entitled to $620,000 plus interest if Alberta Child Welfare had applied for her before August 1, 1997.  What this means is that many children in care, in situations like Amy lost hundreds of thousands of dollars if Alberta Child Welfare did not make an application before August 1, 1997 under the Criminal injuries Compensation Act.

Under the Victims of Crime Act, a victim of a crime can get an amount of compensation that is specified in a chart.  Various injuries are listed and various amounts of compensation are listed.

Based on my experience the injuries that are the most serious for children in care are brain injuries and psychological injuries, as those are the types of injuries that have the most long lasting effect on children and block them from working to their full potential.

The amount of compensation for psychological injuries has changed from time to time since 1997. At first the highest amount a victims suffering severe psychological injuries could receive was $35,000, it increased to a maximum of $48,000 and currently the maximum for psychological injuries is $30,000.

A victim of a crime must apply within 2 years of the crime, but they can apply to have the time extended.  the time to apply might or might not be extended, so if a person is applying 5 years late, 10 years late or 30 years late, they might or might not have the time limit extended.  The Victims of Crime Program would help people applying to request their medical reports and police files to complete their Victims of Crime applications.

Because the Victims of Crime Program can extend the 2 year time limit for applying, any victim of a crime can apply, no matter when they were victimized.  However, the application might be turned down for being sent in too late.  Not knowing about the program is not accepted as a reasonable excuse, however PTSD and other psychological problems are sometimes accepted as a reasonable excuse for applying late.  According to Victims of Crime statistics, approximately  90% of late applicants are allowed to obtain compensation even though their application is late.

An important change was made when the Victims of Crime Act replaced the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.  Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, there was a requirement to report your crime to the police or proper child welfare authority.  However, currently under the Victims of Crime Act, to be eligible for compensation, a victim must report the crime to the local police or RCMP. Therefore, if a victim reported their crimes as a child to Alberta Child Welfare and if Alberta Child Welfare did not report the crime to the police, a victim will be denied victims of crime compensation.  Therefore, a victim of a crime that was reported to Alberta Child Welfare, but not to police, must be reported to police before applying to the Victims of Crime Program. This means that it is more difficult to apply for compensation under the Victims of Crime Act, than it was under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act. This is another reason that we argue that Alberta Child Welfare should have helped Class Members to apply under the easier and more generous Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.

If a child in care, lets call him Adam, was born in 1990, went into care in 2000, was sexually abused in 2002, reported the abuse to Child Welfare, but Child Welfare did not report the crime to the police and did not help Adam make a Victims of Crime application and if Adam applied for Victims of Crime in 2017, he could be turned down because he applied too late, when he was 37 for a crime that occurred when he was 12 and because he did not report his crime to the police.

Summary of the Claims against Alberta Child Welfare

In summary, the claims against Alberta Child Welfare were for financial injuries suffered by the children in care because Alberta Child Welfare did not protect the legal interests of the children in care.  By not helping the children in care to sue, or to apply under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Action or to apply under the Victims of Crime Act, the children suffered financial losses.  The children lost the compensation that they would have received if Alberta Child Welfare did their job properly.

History of the Case

Robert P. Lee started this Class Action lawsuit.  Because Mr. Lee had not been involved in a Class Action before, he hired Clint Docken QC and David Klein to assist him.

Robert P. Lee conducted most of the research, drafted most of the legal documents and conducted most of the questioning up until the case went to a hearing to be certified.  Mr. Klein did most of the work at the Certification Hearing and when the Certification was appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Lee, Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken were successful in having the case be approved as a Class Action.  The case was proceeding smoothly until Alberta Child Welfare wanted to have a settlement conference.

Mr. Lee and the three Representative Plaintiffs were concerned about settling the case without documentation from Alberta Child Welfare which would be relevant to the amount of total damages.  Mr. Lee was extremely concerned that the Plaintiffs would be negotiating in the blind because the Plaintiffs had not received important information that they needed to estimate the full amount that the settlement ought to be.  For example, Mr. Lee believed that it was absolutely essential for Alberta Child Welfare to give their statistics about the number of children that were reported injured during the entire Class period.  Without knowing how many people were in the Class, it would be impossible to come up with an accurate estimate of what the settlement ought to be.  In addition, Mr. Lee wanted Alberta Child Welfare to disclose the statistics about the types of injuries that the children suffered.   The compensation that a victim of a brain injury could be several million dollars, the compensation from a serious sexual assault could be several hundred thousands of dollars.  Mr. Lee believed that it would be negligent and neglectful to try to negotiate a settlement without this crucial information.

To make an analogy to poker, it would be like playing poker with Alberta Child Welfare and all of the Plaintiffs cards are turned over and none of Alberta Child Welfare’s cards are turned over.  Mr. Lee believed that it would be irresponsible to the Class Members to negotiate a settlement without the information that the Class Members were entitled to having.  Mr. Lee believed that it was clearly in Alberta Child Welfare’s interests to negotiate without allowing the Class Members to have the full information of how many Class Members there were and what types of injuries they suffered.  Mr. Lee and the three Representative Plaintiffs wanted the correct settlement, not just a quick settlement.

As a result a disagreement arose between Mr. Lee and the three Representative Plaintiffs on the one side and David Klein and Clint Docken on the other side.  The three Representative Plaintiffs job was to protect the interests of the Class Members.  The three Representative Plaintiffs agreed with Mr. Lee.  They supported Mr. Lee and they wanted Mr. Lee to represent them and the Class Members.  The three Representative Plaintiffs began looking for independent legal advice on what they should and could do.  They were looking into the possibility of firing Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein.

At the same time, Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein made an application to the Court for advice and directions because Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein wanted to have more settlement negotiations.  They made the application without the approval of the three Representative Plaintiffs.  The Representative Plaintiffs told Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein to cancel the application, but Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein ignored the instructions of their own clients.   Mr. lee followed the instructions of his clients and went to Court to tell the clients side.  The clients did not want to have more settlement negotiations and they wanted to get independent legal advice about firing Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken QC before they did anything else for them and the Class Members.

Therefore, at Court, the case management Justice, the Honourable Justice  Denis Thomas was faced with a dispute between the clients and Mr. Lee on one side and Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken QC on the other side.  The Honourable Justice Denis Thomas decided that it was not appropriate for the case to continue when the lawyers for the Plaintiffs were having a dispute and when the clients and some of the lawyers wee having a dispute, so the Honourable Justice Denis Thomas removed Mr. Robert Lee as counsel for the Plaintiffs.  Mr. Robert Lee was the lawyer that started the Class Action, he was the lawyer that had the full support of all three of the Class Members, yet the Honourable Justice Denis Thomas decided that the best way for the case to move forward was for the three Representative Plaintiffs to be represented by the lawyers who they were in dispute with, Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken QC.

In the legal system, there is a phrase called “choice of counsel”  normally the client gets to pick their own lawyer.  However , in this case, Justice Thomas believed that it was best for the three Representative Plaintiffs to be represented by the two lawyers that they were in a dispute with, rather than the lawyer that they fully trusted.  Four days after this decision by the Court, the three Representative Plaintiffs obtained independent legal advice and fired Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken.

In the opinion of Robert Lee, removing Mr. Lee was not a wise decision by the Court and Mr. Lee Appealed the decision.  Unfortunately, Mr. Lee and the three Representative Plaintiffs lost at the Court of Appeal.  As a result, the three Representative plaintiffs continued to be represented by lawyers that they had fired and whom they had no trust.  The Representative Plaintiffs then sued David Klein, while he was representing them and the Class Members.  This was a very strange relationship between a client and their existing lawyer.

As a Class Member, you might wonder how it was possible that the three Representative Plaintiffs trusted Mr. Lee and wanted Mr. Lee to be the lawyer for the Class Members, but were blocked from doing so and instead were forced to be represented by a lawyer, David Klein,  that the Representative Plaintiffs were suing.  It does not seem to make sense that clients could be forced to be represented by lawyers that they were suing.  It does not seem to make sense that a lawyer would want to represent clients who had sued them.  I do not have an explanation for how this happened and I hope that one day, it will be explained how this could happen.

To get around the problem that the three Representative Plaintiffs wanted to fire Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken QC, Mr. Docken and Mr. Klein located a Class Member that applied to be added as a fourth Representative Plaintiff.  With a fourth Representative Plaintiff, Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein could simply take the instructions from the fourth Representative Plaintiff and ignore the first three. Representative Plaintiffs. The proposed fourth Representative Plaintiff was an employee of Mr. Docken.  Therefore, Mr. Docken QC made an application for his own employee to be the fourth Representative Plaintiff so that she could give Mr. Docken QC, her boss, instructions for the Class Action law suit.  Typically the Representative Plaintiff and the Class Counsel lawyers should be independent from each other.  Yet in this case, Mr. Docken QC was putting forward his own employee to be a Representative Plaintiff.  The Affidavit of the proposed fourth Representative Plaintiff did not disclose that she was an employee of Mr. Docken QC.

The Three Representative Plaintiffs were the clients, they represented the interests of the Class Members, they did not want Clint Docken QC or David Klein to be the lawyers for the Class Action.  They did not want a fourth Representative Plaintiff to be appointed.  They still did not want to let Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken QC to settle the case without more information from the Government.

The day before the application to appoint Mr. Docken’s employee as the fourth Representative Plaintiff, the three original Representative Plaintiffs were finally able to hire a lawyer, Jeffrey Poole, to fight the application.  Mr. Lee could not appear for the three Representative Plaintiffs so they had to find a new lawyer.   Mr. Poole was hired just the day before the application so he asked for an adjournment.  Despite not having any opportunity to review the materials in detail or to question the proposed fourth Representative Plaintiff on her Affidavit, the Honourable Justice Denis Thomas denied Mr. Poole’s adjournment request and Mr. Poole was forced to try to fight the application with almost no preparation.  The Honourable Justice Thomas added the fourth Representative Plaintiff.

Mr. Poole was willing to help, but was not willing to take over the case as he did not have experience with Class Actions.  Finally, with the help of Mr. Lee. the three Representative Plaintiffs found new lawyers that were willing to take over the Class Action.  McKenzie Lake Lawyers of London, Ontario, agreed to take over the Class Action with the assistance of Robert Lee and Simona Jellinek of Toronto, Ontario.

The three Representative Plaintiffs appealed the decision to add a fourth Representative Plaintiff and Mr. Poole won the application for the three Representative Plaintiffs.

After the three Representative Plaintiffs found a new firm to take over the lawsuit that was willing to work with Mr. Lee, negotiations took place with Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein to transfer the file.  One of the terms that Mr. Klein insisted on before he would transfer the file to McKenzie Lake Lawyers was that the Representative Plaintiffs had to agree to drop their lawsuit against Mr. Klein.  The Representative Plaintiffs were very reluctant to drop their lawsuit, but in order to “get rid of” Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken, they agreed to drop the lawsuit so that they could get new lawyers and Mr. Lee back on the case.

Another term that Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken QC insisted on before they would transfer the file to McKenzie Lake Lawyers was that Mr. Docken and Mr. Klein would immediately receive all of the Court costs for winning the Class Action Certification hearing and Appeal and Mr. Lee would have to wait until the end of the case to get repaid for his disbursements that he paid for the Class Members and before he would get paid for his work in getting the case Certified as a Class Action.

For the Representative Plaintiffs to be able to get their own choice of counsel, they had to agree to drop their lawsuit against M. Klein.  The Representative Plaintiffs dropped their legal rights against Mr. Klein for the benefit of the Class Members.

Mr. Lee was entitled to a third of the Court costs, but in order to allow the Class Members to have new lawyers and to “get rid of” Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein, Mr. Lee had to give up his own legal rights and delay reimbursement of the over $40,000 that was owed to him in disbursements.  For the sake of the Class Members, Mr. Lee did so.

The Honourable Justice Thomas decided that it was better for the Class Members to be represented by Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken QC., but as a Class Member, you must ask yourself which of the three lawyers was acting in the interests of the Class Members and which lawyers were acting in their own interests. The Transcript from January 31, 2013 can be found under the Documents heading.

After reaching an agreement with Mr. Klein and Mr. Docken to transfer the file to McKenzie Lake Lawyers, the three Representative Plaintiffs went to Court to have their file transferred to their new lawyers.   The transcript from the hearing on January 27, 2014 can be found under the Documents heading.  I did not attend the hearing and in my absence the Honourable Justice Thomas made comments about me to McKenzie Lake Lawyers, including blaming me for the delay in the case.  However, the three Representative Plaintiffs would not have had any delays if they had been allowed to prosecute the case with their own “choice of counsel”.  The delay was caused because the three Representative Plaintiffs were being forced to be represented by lawyers that they did not want to represent them.   The Honourable Justice Thomas suggested that Mr. Lee not be involved in the case.

After McKenzie Lake Lawyers were officially appointed as the new counsel, they reneged on their agreement to work with Robert Lee and the agreed upon division of legal fees.  As a result  Robert Lee refused to work with McKenzie Lake Lawyers on the terms offered.

The Settlement

The three Representative Plaintiffs filed Affidavits in the Court of Appeal regarding what happened after Mr. Lee was no longer involved in the case.  These Affidavits were signed by the Representative Plaintiffs after they received copies of documents and received explanations of what those documents meant.  The Representative Plaintiffs allege that they were manipulated by McKenzie Lake Lawyers to agree to the settlement.  McKenzie Lake Lawyers claim that Robert Lee manipulated the three Representative Plaintiffs.  As many documents as possible have been put onto my website so that you, as a Class Member can make your own decision.

After McKenzie Lake Lawyers had taken over the case, they made a settlement recommendation to the three Representative Plaintiffs and asked the Representative Plaintiffs to agree to the settlement recommendation.  The three Representative Plaintiffs have asked McKenzie Lake Lawyers for a copy of the written recommendation and the analysis behind the recommendation, but McKenzie Lake Lawyers refused to give a copy of the recommendation and the analysis behind the recommendation. Robert Lee and other Class Members have also asked McKenzie Lake Lawyers for their initial settlement recommendation and the analysis behind the recommendation, but McKenzie Lake Lawyers refused to provide it.  As a result, it is not clearly known why McKenzie Lake Lawyers made their settlement recommendation or if they obtained the information that was considered necessary to estimate a proper amount for the settlement.  As McKenzie Lake Lawyers will not give this information, there is no evidence that McKenzie Lake Lawyers obtained from Alberta Child Welfare the number of children who had been injured and were part of the Class Action or the types of injuries that they suffered.

If the settlement was not based on accurate data regarding the number of injured children in the Class Action law suit and the types and severity of the injuries, then I do not know how the settlement figures could have been analyzed or assessed.

After McKenzie Lake Lawyers finalized the settlement with Alberta Child Welfare, they prepared an Affidavit for each of the three Representative Plaintiffs to sign.  The Representative Plaintiffs signed the Affidavits, but all three Representative Plaintiffs do not know the reasons behind the settlement.  They do not know why the settlement is supposed to be a good settlement.   They do not know the details of what the Class Members gave up in the settlement and they do not know the details of what the Class Members get from the settlement.  One of the Representative Plaintiffs was sent to meet with a lawyer from the law firm that represented Alberta Child Welfare to sign her Affidavit.  The Representative Plaintiff was never told by McKenzie Lake or the lawyer that the lawyer worked for Alberta Child Welfare’s law firm.

What do SOME Class Members get from the Settlement

The Class Action Settlement helps Class Members that apply for Victims of Crime and get turned down because they applied too late.  For these Class Members who get turned down because they applied too late, there is a settlement fund of $7 million created.  All of the Class Members who get turned down for applying late are entitled to a share of the $7 million.  The maximum that they can get is what they would have been entitled to under the Victims of Crime Act.   The maximum that a Class Member suffering psychological injuries such as PTSD can get is $30,000.

According to the Affidavit of Sabrina Lombardi, a lawyer at McKenzie Lake Lawyers, existing Victims of Crime statistics show that only 90% of Class Members will benefit from the settlement.

What do the Class Members Give Up from the Settlement

Failing to Help Sue

One of the claims that was part of the Class Action was that Alberta Child Welfare did not help the Class Members to sue the people who hurt the Class Members.  McKenzie Lake completely gave up this claim on behalf of all of the Class Members.

As an example, if you were a Class Member in the care of Child Welfare and you were a passenger in a car, another car drove through a red light hitting you, severely injuring you and if Child Welfare did not help you to sue within the 2 year time limit, then you cannot sue Alberta Child Welfare for failing to protect your legal rights.   If you should have received $50,000 in the settlement from the car accident, but Child Welfare simply forgot to sue for you, then you have lost your ability to sue Alberta Child Welfare for causing you to lose $50,000.

If you were sexually abused by a foster parent on the foster parents farm and now you can’t work and will never be able to work because you have PTSD and you have severe alcohol and drug problems, and if it is more than 2 years after the abuse, then you might not be able to sue the foster parent anymore because you waited too long and you definitely cannot sue Alberta Child Welfare for forgetting to help you sue.  So even if you could have gotten $1 million if Child Welfare  had sued the foster parent for you, you cannot sue Alberta Child Welfare for causing you to lose $1 million.  McKenzie Lake Lawyers gave that up for you and all of the Class Members.

Alberta Child Welfare has policy manuals that say that Alberta Child Welfare is supposed to help children in care under guardianship orders to sue.  Therefore, I do not know why McKenzie Lake Lawyers dropped this claim.

When the Representative Plaintiffs were told to settle the Class Action by McKenzie Lake Lawyers, they did not understand that the Class Members had lost their right to sue Alberta Child Welfare for not helping Class Members to sue.  The Representative Plaintiffs did not understand that the Class Members had lost their right to sue for compensation for the pain and suffering that they suffered as vulnerable children.  The Representative Plaintiffs did not understand that Class Members may have lost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars when McKenzie Lake Lawyers made the settlement to drop the Class Members’ claim against Alberta Child Welfare for failing to help them to sue.  When the Representative Plaintiffs found out that the settlement gave up all of the Class Members’ rights to sue Alberta Child Welfare for failing to help them sue, the Representative Plaintiffs wanted the settlement to be overturned.  When the Representative Plaintiffs understood what the settlement gave away, they realized that it was not a good settlement.

Failing to Apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act

Under the terms of the settlement all of the Class Members gave up their right to sue Alberta Child Welfare for failing to apply under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.  Under the settlement Class Members are only entitled to apply for compensation under the Victims of Crime Act.  This is extremely important because the amount of compensation that Class Members would have been entitled to under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act was unlimited; whereas, there were limits on the compensation available under the Victims of Crime Act.

In the example above of Amy, Amy would have been able to receive about $620,000 under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act and a maximum of $35,000 under the Victims of Crime Act.  Therefore, McKenzie Lake Lawyers agreed that Amy would give up her right to sue for the $585,000 more that she could have received under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act than what she can receive under the Victims of Crime Act.  In addition, under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, Amy was entitled to $20,000 per year for lost wages after 2017 on an ongoing basis until she could return to work.  Whereas, under the Victims of Crime Act, it is only a one time payment.

Class Members who suffered severe injuries before August 1, 1997, have lost a great deal by the settlement that McKenzie Lake Lawyers negotiated.  For those Class Members whose injuries are severe and prevent them from working, they have lost tens of thousands of even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

McKenzie Lake Lawyers have not explained why Alberta Child Welfare had a responsibility to apply for crimes compensation for Class Members now under the Victims of Crime Act, but did not have an obligation to apply for crimes compensation for Class Members under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.  If Alberta Child Welfare has to apply for crimes compensation now, then logically they should have had to apply for crimes compensation before 1997 as well.

When the Representative Plaintiffs were told to settle the Class Action by McKenzie Lake Lawyers, they did not understand what the Class Members had lost by only having the right to apply for compensation under the Victims of Crime Act.  The Representative Plaintiffs did not understand that many severely injured Class Members who had been injured before 1997 had lost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars each by McKenzie Lake Lawyers giving up the right to sue Alberta Child Welfare for not helping them to apply for compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation act.  The Representative Plaintiffs did not understand that Class Members may have lost tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars when McKenzie Lake Lawyers made the settlement to drop the Class Members’ claim against Alberta Child Welfare for failing to help them to apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act.  When the Representative Plaintiffs found out that the settlement gave up all of the Class Members’ rights to sue Alberta Child Welfare for failing to help them apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act, the Representative Plaintiffs wanted the settlement to be overturned.  When the Representative Plaintiffs understood what the settlement gave away, they realized that it was not a good settlement for the Class Members.

The Right to Apply for crimes compensation under the Victims of Crime Act

90% of Class Members get NO Benefit

The settlement negotiated by McKenzie Lake Lawyers does give all of the Class Members the right to apply for crimes compensation under the Victims of Crime Act and the settlement requires the Victims of Crime program to obtain medical reports and police reports for the Class Members.  However, the Class Members already had these rights before the settlement.  These rights already existed.  The settlement did not give these as new rights to the Class Members.  Before the settlement, any Class Members could have applied for compensation under the Victims of Crime Act.  The Victims of Crime program would request medical reports and police reports for the Class Members.  The Affidavit of McKenzie lake lawyer, Sabrina Lombardi, that was filed in the Court, made it sound as if the Victims of Crime Program did not get medical reports and police files for Class Members before the settlement, but that was not true.  The McKenzie Lake Lawyers made it sound like the settlement was giving the Class Members something new (help with getting reports), but that was not true.  Many Class Members applied for compensation under the Victims of Crime Act and the Victims of Crime program did get medical and police reports.  According to the Affidavit of Sabrina Lombardi, the McKenzie lake Lawyer, 90% of Class Members would be successful in having the 2 year time limit extended and they would get compensation from the Victims of Crime program.

The Representative Plaintiffs and Class members asked McKenzie Lake Lawyers if there was any other advantage, but McKenzie lake Lawyers did not provide any additional benefit to the 90% of Class Members that would have received compensation without the settlement.  Therefore, if you are part of the 90% of Class Members that would have received compensation from the Victims of Crime program without the settlement, you may wonder, what the settlement gave you.  You might wonder why you gave up your other claims to sue the Government for not applying for crimes compensation under the Criminal injuries Compensation Act or for not helping you to sue.

In fact, even though 90% of the Class Members received no benefit from the settlement, they have to pay McKenzie Lake Lawyers a 10% fee from their Victims of Crime Compensation.  As a result, for 90% of the Class Members, they would have been better off without any settlement.  They would have been better off if the Class Action was just dropped completely.  At least if the settlement was dropped completely, they still would have had the right to sue Alberta Child Welfare for not applying for crimes compensation under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Act and for not helping them sue and they would not have to pay McKenzie Lake a 10% fee.

The settlement negotiated by McKenzie Lake Lawyers puts 90% of the Class Members in a worse position than if there had been no settlement at all.

If there had been no settlement, then McKenzie Lake Lawyers would not have been able to charge the 90% of Class Members a 10% fee and if there had not been a settlement McKenzie Lake Lawyers could not have negotiated that Alberta Child Welfare pay the Plaintiffs’ lawyers a $750,000 fee.

When the Representative Plaintiffs were told to settle the Class Action by McKenzie Lake Lawyers, they did not understand that 90% of the Class Members had not received any benefit from the settlement and actually were getting less because they had to pay legal fees, than they would have received if there was no settlement at all.  When the Representative Plaintiffs learned that 90% of the Class Members received no benefit from the settlement and actually received 10% less, the Representative Plaintiffs realized that it was not a good settlement for the Class Members and wanted the settlement to be overturned.

10% of Class Members get a Benefit from the Settlement

Approximately 10% of Class Members will get a benefit from the Settlement.  These are Class Members who reported the crime to police (but does not include Class Members that only reported the crime to Alberta Child Welfare), who applied for Victims of Crime compensation more than 2 years after their crime and did not have the time limit extended for their application.

The Victims of Crime Program, the 2 year time limit to apply can be extended if there are  “compelling reasons to do so”.  Based on statistics, 90% of Class Members can show “Compelling reason” to extend the 2 year time limit.  This would normally be because their injuries were so severe, that they were unable to apply any earlier.  For example, their PTSD was so severe, they could not make a Victims of Crime application.

Therefore, the only Class Members that receive a benefit under the settlement are those Class Members who applied late and could NOT show a “compelling reason” why their time limit should be extended.  If a Class Member could not show a compelling reason why they applied late, then it is likely that their injuries were not that severe.  Otherwise if their injuries were severe, that would be a “compelling reason” to extend the time limit to apply.  Therefore, it seems that the Class Members that benefit from the settlement negotiated by McKenzie lake Lawyers are the Class Members that are the least injured and the Class Members who are the least in need of assistance.

When the Representative Plaintiffs were told to settle the Class Action by McKenzie Lake Lawyers, they did not understand that only about 10% of the Class Members received any benefit from the settlement and that these 10% of Class Members were likely the least injured and the least in need of assistance from the lawsuit.  When the Representative Plaintiffs learned that only about 10% of the Class Members received a benefit and that the most seriously injured Class Members did not receive any benefit, the Representative Plaintiffs realized that it was not a good settlement for the Class Members and wanted the settlement to be overturned.

Legal Fees

Based on an analysis of the settlement, the McKenzie Lake Lawyers negotiated a settlement with Alberta Child Welfare that will result in the Class Action lawyers receiving more in legal fees than Alberta Child Welfare is paying into the settlement.  In an overall analysis that basically means that the lawyers get all of the settlement money and 90% of the Class Members are giving some of their money to the lawyers and some of their money to the 10% of Class Members.  This analysis was given to McKenzie Lake Lawyers with a request that they explain if the analysis was incorrect.  McKenzie Lake Lawyers claims that the analysis is incorrect, but did not provide any explanation as to what was wrong in the analysis.

The lawyers that worked on this case include Robert Lee (who started the Class Action), David Klein, Clint Docken QC, Jeffrey Poole, Simona Jellinek and McKenzie Lake Lawyers.  The Representative Plaintiffs have tried to find out which lawyers have been paid and how much they have been paid.  The only lawyers that I know that have received payment from the settlement are David Klein, Clint Docken QC and McKenzie Lake.  Robert Lee has been paid nothing from the settlement monies by McKenzie Lake Lawyers, even though Mr. Lee started the Class Action and paid out over $40,000 of his own money for the lawsuit.  The Representative Plaintiffs have told McKenzie Lake Lawyers to pay Mr. lee, but McKenzie Lake Lawyers refuse to pay Mr. Lee.  Mr. Lee will likely have to sue McKenzie Lake Lawyers for payment of his fees and disbursements.

When the Representative Plaintiffs understood the payment of settlement monies to lawyers and to Class Members, they realized that the settlement was in McKenzie Lake Lawyer’s interests, but not in the interests of the Class Members.  The Representative Plaintiffs understood that the settlement was so bad, that the Class Members as a group would have been better off with no settlement than with the settlement that McKenzie Lake Lawyers negotiated.  The Representative Plaintiffs realized that it was not a good settlement for the Class Members and wanted the settlement to be overturned.

The Application to the Court of Queen’s Bench to Approve the Settlement

After McKenzie Lake Lawyers and Alberta Child Welfare negotiated their settlement agreement, they had to go to Court to obtain approval from the case management Justice, the Honourable Justice Thomas for the settlement.  They also had to give notice to the Class Members of the proposed settlement.

On October 31, 2015, seven Notices were published in newspapers across Alberta advising Class Members of the proposed settlement, the hearing date of November 13, 2015 and a deadline to submit written objections to the settlement by November 10, 2015.  This schedule gave Class Members only 13 days advance notice of the hearing and only 10 days advance notice to file written objections to the settlement.

Some Class Members contacted McKenzie Lake Lawyers about the settlement.  McKenzie Lake Lawyers did NOT tell the Class Members what they were losing in the settlement and told Class Members directly and through the media that the Class Action was NOT about Alberta Child Welfare failing to sue Alberta Child Welfare.  Without knowing the details of the advantages and disadvantages, it was extremely difficult for Class Members, who are not lawyers, to know if this was or was not a good settlement.

On November 9, 2015, McKenzie Lake Lawyers filed materials in support of the settlement, which included an Affidavit of Sabrina Lombardi, Affidavits of the Representative Plaintiffs and a legal Brief.  The Honourable Justice Thomas gave McKenzie Lake Lawyers permission to file the materials in Court late.  The materials were filed in Court on November 9, 2015, but Class Members who opposed the settlement had to provide written objection to the settlement the next day by November 10, 2015.  This schedule that was approved by McKenzie Lake Lawyers, Alberta Child Welfare and the

Honourable Justice Thomas did not give the Class Members hardly any time to review the materials, to get a lawyer or to write a written objection.   How many people would think that 1 day was a fair amount of time for the Class Members to review the materials and file a written objection in Court?

On November 10, 2015 – McKenzie Lake Lawyers filed an Application for November 13, 2015 to Approve their Legal Fees and a Brief in support of payment of their legal fees.  There is no record of any Affidavits being filed in support of the application to approve legal fees.  This application was filed by McKenzie lake Lawyers on the same day that Class Members were supposed to file their written objection in Court to the application.  As a Class Member you might wonder how it was a reasonable schedule to be forced to file a written objection to something on the very same day that the application was filed in Court.

Robert Lee did not think that the amount of time that was given was fair, so Robert Lee asked McKenzie Lake Lawyers for an adjournment, (to move the hearing to a later day), Mr. Lee also asked to question Sabrina Lombardi on her Affidavit. McKenzie Lake Lawyers refused Mr. lee’s adjournment request and demanded that the hearing proceed on November 13, 2015.  Mr. Lee tried to find a lawyer to go to Court for him, but on such short notice, Mr. Lee was unable to do so.

Mr. Lee was receiving calls from Class Members that were concerned about the settlement, so Mr. Lee assisted a Class Member by the initials L.S. to seek an adjournment so that she could get a lawyer to go to Court for her and to question Sabrina Lombardi on her Affidavit.  The Class Member wanted to have the ability to ask Ms. Lombardi what the benefits of the settlement were and what the Class Members were giving up by agreeing to the settlement.

Court was supposed to start at 2 PM on Friday the 13th of November 2015, but the Honourable Justice Thomas started Court at 1:30 PM, half an hour early.  L.S. and V.M. attended Court and asked for an adjournment.  Even though they did not have lawyers and L.S. wanted to have a lawyer present, the Honourable Justice Thomas put L.S. on the stand and allowed the McKenzie Lake Lawyers and Alberta Child Welfare lawyers to question her without her having her own lawyer present.  The Honourable Justice Thomas did not grant an adjournment, he did not allow L.S to question Sabrina Lombardi on her Affidavit and the Honourable Justice Thomas approved the settlement.

Because questioning was not permitted of Sabrina Lombardi by a lawyer representing the Class Members, there was no questioning on:

 

–  the fact that only 10% of Class Members received any benefit from the settlement

–  the fact that 90% of the Class Members received less than if there was no settlement

–  the fact that the Victims of Crime Program already helped Class Members to get medical reports and police files

–  the fact that some Class Members were each losing their rights to sue Alberta Child Welfare for hundreds of thousands of dollars because Alberta Child Welfare did not help them to sue

– the fact that all Class Members injured before 1997 were each losing their rights to sue for hundreds of thousands of dollars because Alberta Child Welfare failed to apply for crimes compensation under the Criminal injuries Compensation Act

–  the fact that the amount of legal fees to be paid to the lawyers would be more than what Alberta Child Welfare paid into the settlement

With the limited information that was provided to the Honourable Justice Thomas, Justice Thomas believed that the settlement was a good settlement for the Class Members and he approved the settlement.  All Class Members may wonder if he would have approved the settlement if he had allowed questioning on Sabrina Lombardi’s Affidavit and if he had been told the full truth about the settlement.  An analogy can be drawn to the Honourable Justice Thomas’ murder conviction of Travis

Vader that was made on September 15, 2016 by Justice Thomas.  On October 31, 2016, the Honourable Justice Thomas replaced his murder conviction with a manslaughter conviction after he was told that a section of the Criminal Code related to murder had been previously declared to be unconstitutional.  With the correct information, Justice Thomas corrected his conviction.  Class Members can only wonder what would have happened if he was given the full facts by the McKenzie Lake Lawyers.

The Application to the Court of Appeal for permission to Appeal the Settlement

Almost a year after, the Honourable Justice Thomas approved the settlement, the deadline to apply to the Victims of Crime program under the settlement was approaching and Class Members were making inquiries about the settlement.  From about November of 2016 to January 2017, the three Representative Plaintiffs and other Class Members contacted Robert Lee and McKenzie Lake Lawyers about the details of the settlement.  They wanted to know how to apply and what they could get from the settlement.  It was during this time period that the three Representative Plaintiffs discovered that the settlement was not really what they were told it was.  The three Representative Plaintiffs found out that there were lots of things, bad things that they did not know about the settlement.  When the three Representative Plaintiffs started looking at documents in detail and having those documents explained to them, they started to realize that things were not exactly as they had been told and they started asking McKenzie Lake Lawyers for answers to their questions.  When McKenzie Lake Lawyers refused to give detailed answers to their question and refused to provide certain documents to them, they began to understand that the settlement was not exactly as good as they had been lead to believe.  All three Representative Plaintiffs ultimately believed that the settlement was not good for the Class Members, as a group, and that the settlement ought to be overturned.

A Class Member R.T., became aware that the three Representative Plaintiffs believed that they had been mislead about the settlement, that the settlement was bad for the Class Members and the settlement ought to be overturned.  R.T. applied to the Court of Appeal for permission to Appeal the settlement.

All three Class Members filed Affidavits in the Court of Appeal in support of the application for permission to Appeal the settlement.  The Representative Plaintiffs told the McKenzie Lake lawyers to agree to the Appeal and not to fight the Appeal. Normally clients tell their lawyers what to do and the lawyers have to do it, but in this case, the McKenzie Lake Lawyers completely ignored the instructions of their three clients and the McKenzie Lake lawyers filed a written Brief in the Court of Appeal objecting to R.T.’s application for permission to Appeal the settlement and Sabrina Lombardi flew to Edmonton and argued against the application against the settlement.  Sabrina Lombardi did the opposite of what her clients told her to do.

This was the second time that the lawyers representing the three Representative Plaintiffs ignored their instructions.  IN both instances, the three Representative Plaintiffs were fighting with their own lawyers.  First they were fighting with Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein and then they wee fighting with McKenzie Lake Lawyers.

It was the duty of the three Representative Plaintiffs to act in the best interests of the Class Members.  They were all Class Members as well.   They wanted what was best for the Class Members.  They went through tremendous amounts of stress acting as the Representative Plaintiffs for the Class Members.  But somehow in this case, what the clients wanted did not seem to matter and what the lawyers wanted seemed to matter more.  None of the lawyers involved in the case were Class Members, none of the lawyers involved in the case were abused while in the care of Alberta Child Welfare, but somehow, what the actual victims of the abuse wanted and what they thought was best didn’t seem to matter.

The application by R.T. for permission to Appeal was decided by the Honourable Justice Frans Slatter of the Court of Appeal.  The Honourable Justice Slatter recognized the unusual nature of the situation between client and lawyer.  The Honourable Justice Slatter stated: “They (the Representative Plaintiffs) argue that the settlement is improvident, and that they were misled by their own counsel.” …  “The situation became totally dysfunctional, amounting to a civil war between the court approved representative plaintiffs and the court approved class counsel.”  However, in the end, the Honourable Justice Slatter did not allow R.T.’s application and the Honourable Justice Slatter awarded costs against R.T. to be paid by R.T. to the three Representative Plaintiffs and to Alberta Child Welfare.  It is of interest that the three Representative Plaintiffs do not want costs from R.T. and actually wanted R.T. to win his application.

R.T. argued that the general test for permission to appeal under Rule 14.5 was described by Slatter JA in Thompson v Procrane Inc (Sterling Crane), 2016 ABCA 71 (CanLII) at paragraph 7:

[7] The test for obtaining permission to appeal under R. 14.5 is generally that:

 

(a) There is an important question of law or precedent,

(b) There is a reasonable chance of success on appeal, and

(c) The delay will not unduly hinder the progress of the action or cause undue prejudice. (22)

The Honourable Justice Slatter instead decided that:

[14]           Applications to extend time to appeal are governed by the principles in Cairns v Cairns, 1931 CanLII 471 (AB CA), [1931] 4 DLR 819 at pp. 826-7 (Alta SC (AD)): see Royal Bank of Canada v Morin, 1977 ALTASCAD 209 (CanLII), 1977 AltaSCAD 209 at paras. 4-9, 6 AR 341; Sohal v Brar, 1998 ABCA 375 (CanLII) at para. 1, 223 AR 141; Stoddard v Montague, 2006 ABCA 109 (CanLII) at para. 7, 412 AR 88; R. v Canto, 2015 ABCA 306 (CanLII) at para. 13, 28 Alta LR (6th) 49, 607 AR 298; Cox v Howard, 2016 ABCA 311 (CanLII) at para. 3; Attila Dogan Construction and Installation Co. v AMEC Americas Ltd., 2015 ABCA 206 (CanLII) at para. 4, 602 AR 135. Cairns mentions several factors to be considered:

 

(a)   a bona fide intention to appeal held while the right to appeal existed;

 

(b)   an explanation for the failure to appeal in time that serves to excuse or justify the lateness;

 

(c)   an absence of serious prejudice such that it would not be unjust to disturb the judgment;

 

(d)   the applicant must not have taken the benefits of the judgment under appeal; and

 

(e)   a reasonable chance of success on the appeal, which might better be described as a reasonably arguable appeal.

The Honourable Justice Slatter decided that R.T. ought to have applied sooner and that Alberta Child Welfare would suffer serious prejudice if the settlement were overturned.  The Honourable Justice Slatter did not accept R.T.’s explanation that he did apply sooner because McKenzie Lake Lawyers withheld the information from him that he would have needed to Appeal and that the Representative Plaintiffs themselves only discovered that they were mislead by McKenzie Lake Lawyers around January 2017.

It is extremely disappointing that the Honourable Justice Slatter did not rule on the 4th criteria of whether R.T. had a reasonable chance of success on his Appeal.  R.T. had hoped that his chance of success on Appeal would have been the most important factor to consider in his Application as there were thousands of Class Members that were affected by the settlement and if the process of approving the settlement was not fair and if the settlement was unfair that, in the interests of justice and fairness, it would have been proper to allow R.T. to Appeal the settlement.

R.T. believed that if the settlement was obtained by the Plaintiffs’ lawyers, McKenzie Lake Lawyers, by misleading, basically tricking and taking advantage of, the three Representative Plaintiffs, that the settlement should not be allowed to stand up.  R.T. believed that it was a serious injustice if vulnerable Class Members could be bound by a Class Action settlement that was made based on lies and trickery, in which the lawyers get more compensation than the Class Members who were victims of childhood abuse.

What Next???

Throughout this process, Robert Lee has been completely transparent to the Representative Plaintiffs and the Class Members.  Robert Lee has shown documents and internet videos to back up whatever he has said.  In contrast, McKenzie Lake Lawyers refused to give Class Members documents or explanations.  Most importantly, McKenzie Lake has refused to give documents and explanations to their own clients, the three Representative Plaintiffs.

If you are a Class Member and if you have questions for McKenzie Lake Lawyers after reading this website and reviewing the documents that have been attached to this website, then you may wish to contact McKenzie Lake Lawyers and ask for answers to your questions.

McKenzie Lake Lawyers phone number is : 1 519 672 5666.

Making a Law Society Complaint against McKenzie Lake Lawyers

If you are unhappy with how McKenzie Lake Lawyers represented your legal interests, failed to give you documents, failed to give you information, failed to follow the instructions of the Representative Plaintiffs and if you are unhappy with the answers that they have provided you and if you believe that McKenzie Lake lawyers acted unethically or unprofessionally, then you have the right to make a complaint to the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) at:

The Law Society of Upper Canada
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6

lawsociety@lsuc.on.ca

Ph: 416 947 3300

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/with.aspx?id=644

I am not suggesting that you make a complaint against any lawyer that was involved in this case, however, many clients have asked me what they can do if they are unhappy about the manner in which lawyers represented their interests. Therefore, I am providing this information regarding the process to follow if you are unhappy with the actions of a lawyer.

 

The Court Process

If you are unhappy with how any part of the class action was handled by any of the Judges and if you think your legal rights were not treated with respect, objectivity and fairness, such as the removal of your counsel of choice, the short time lines that Class Members had to oppose the proposed settlement, failing to allow the Class Members time to get a lawyer before the settlement approval hearing, failing to allow the Class Members to question Sabrina Lombardi on her Affidavit, allowing Class Counsel lawyers to appear in Court and argue against their own clients, or not deciding if R.T. had a good chance of succeeding with his Appeal before deciding that R.T. did not have valid grounds for permission to file his Appeal, then complaints against Judges can be made to:

The Canadian Judicial Council

info@cjc-ccm.gc.ca

or by mail to:
Canadian Judicial Council
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0W8

tel. (613) 288-1566; fax (613) 288-1575

https://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/english/conduct_en.asp?selMenu=conduct_main_en.asp

I am not suggesting that you make a complaint against any Judicial Officer that was involved in this case, however, clients have asked me what they can do if they are unhappy about the process in which their legal rights were determined in this class action. Therefore, I am providing this information regarding the process to follow if you are unhappy with how any Judicial Officer handled your case.

 

Alberta Child Welfare Class Action 2 – Service Planning/Kidnapping

There are many different reasons that a person could sue Alberta Child Welfare. Class Action 1 – Failing to Protect Legal Rights just covered a few reasons. Therefore, you could be in Class Action 2 – Service Planning/Kidnapping. If you or your child were in the care of Alberta Child Welfare after June 30, 1985 to September 30, 2009, you could be in the second Class Action against Child Welfare for Service Planning/Kidnapping and you should go to that section of this website, Class Action 2 – Service Planning/Kidnapping.

If you were in the care of Alberta Child Welfare after September 30, 2009 and you and your family did not receive a proper service plan that resulted in harm or injury to you or your family, then you should go to the section of the website, Individual Lawsuits – Including Abused or Injured by Alberta Child Welfare.

 

Individual Lawsuit – Including Abused or Injured by Alberta Child Welfare

As a Class Member of Class Action 1 – Alberta Child Welfare Failing to Protect Legal Rights, you may still have the right and ability to sue your abuser or Alberta Child Welfare in an individual lawsuit. In particular, you might have a better chance of making an individual lawsuit if the abuser was a foster parent, child welfare worker or group home worker.

The difference between an individual lawsuit and a Class Action lawsuit is that an individual lawsuit is only for the facts of your case. If the abuse was by a foster parent, then an individual lawsuit could be made against that foster parent. In contrast, a Class Action lawsuit is brought on behalf of dozens or hundreds or thousands of people to decide issues or facts that apply to all of the Class Members.

If you were abused or injured directly as a result of the intentional actions or negligent/careless actions of an Alberta Child Welfare employee, then you may have the right to sue Alberta Child Welfare and you go to the section of this website, Individual Lawsuits – Including Abused or Injured by Alberta Child Welfare.

 

Documents

Official Documents from this Class Action lawsuit are coming soon.

Court of Queen’s Bench Documents

– Transcripts from the Court Hearing on January 31, 2013 removing Mr. Lee and installing Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein as counsel

– Transcript from Court Hearing on January 27, 2014 transferring the case from Mr. Docken QC and Mr. Klein to McKenzie Lake Lawyers

Court of Appeal Documents

– Application for Permission to Appeal

– Affidavit of R.T. 1

– Affidavit of R.T. 2

– Affidavit of R.T. 3

– Affidavit of R.T. 4

– Affidavit of V.M

– Affidavit of TL

– Affidavit of RM

– Affidavit of JS

– Brief of Law of R.T.

Decision of the Honourable Frans Slatter: R.T. v T.L., 2017 ABCA 69 (CanLII)

– many additional documents can be found on the website of Mckenzie Lake Lawyers: https://www.mckenzielake.com/practice-areas/class-actions-law/alberta-child-welfare