AN APPLICATION WAS FILED ON FEBRUARY 6, 2017 FOR PERMISSION TO APPEAL THE ALBERTA CHLD WELFARE CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT
A Class Member, initials RT, has filed an Application for permission to Appeal the Alberta Child Welfare Class Action Settlement that was approved in Court on November 13, 2015.
Some of the grounds for the Application include allegations that:
1. The settlement provides no net benefit to the Class Members, as a group,
2. That all or almost all of the settlement monies that are paid by Alberta Child Welfare will go to McKenzie Lake Lawyers as legal fees,
3. The Class Members did not have a reasonable opportunity to obtain the materials that were submitted to the Court and to respond,
4. The Class Members did not get the opportunity to question Sabrina Lombardi, the lawyer for McKenzie Lake Lawyers who filed an Affidavit in support of the settlement on November 9,
5. Some of the materials were filed in Court on November 9, some were submitted to the Court on November 10 and some were submitted to the Court after November 10, but not filed with the Court, yet the Class Members had to respond in writing to the materials by November 10, 2015, which RT argues is unreasonable,
6. The Representative Plaintiffs were not asked if they would agree to give the Class Members more time to respond to the materials,
7. McKenzie Lake Lawyers claimed that the Class Action was only about making applications to victims of crime, when there were actually 5 Class Action common issues,
7. A Representative Plaintiff swore her Affidavit in support of the settlement with a lawyer who worked at the Government's law firm, and
8. The Representative Plaintiffs support the Appeal.
The following documents were filed in Court:
2. Memorandum Volume 1
3. Memorandum Volume 2
4. Memorandum Volume 3
5. Affidavit #1 of RT (Applicant and Class Member)
6. Affidavit #2 of RT (Applicant and Class Member)
7. Affidavit #3 of RT (Applicant and Class Member)
8. Affidavit of RM (Representative Plaintiff)
9. Affidavit of JS (Representative Plaintiff)
10. Affidavit of DVM (Class Member)
The Affidavits that have been filed in Court include materials that show that McKenzie Lake Lawyers warned Mr. RT, that if he loses the Appeal that "we will seek costs". However, the Affidavit of RM, the Representative Plaintiff, indicates that she does not wish to seek costs against Mr. RT.
None of the allegations in the Court documents have been proven. The hearing is scheduled for February 22, 2017 at 9:30 AM in the Court of Appeal.
This Appeal will likely decide an important question. Who decides if the Class Counsel opposes the Appeal? Do the Representative Plaintiffs, who were victims of Alberta Child Welfare, decide or do the lawyers from Ontario decide? Earlier in the Class Action, the Representative Plaintiffs were not permitted by the Court to choose their own lawyer and the Court chose the lawyers for the Representative Plaintiffs, against their wishes.
If you are a Class Member and if you support the Appeal or if you would like copies of the Court of Appeal documents, you may wish to contact McKenzie Lake Lawyers, who are the official counsel of record at:
McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP
140 Fullarton Street, Suite 1800
London, Ontario N6A 5P2
1 800 261 4844