$17 Million Class Action Lawsuit Settlement for Manitoba Development Centre Resolved

A settlement for a class action lawsuit involving former residents of a developmental disability home in Manitoba has been approved by the court.

Koskie Minsky LLP, the law firm representing the residents in the lawsuit, announced the approval on Friday.

“The settlement agreement provides for a fund valued at $17 million to compensate the Class Members for certain alleged harm suffered, as well as to fund certain restorative initiatives,” a press release from the firm stated. “On May 25, 2023, the Court approved the settlement agreement as fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class.”

The lawsuit was resolved in March, filed in 2018 by David Weremy, who lived at the Manitoba Development Centre in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, alleging that he and others were subjected to abuse at the facility.

During the peak of MDC in the 1970s, there were 1,200 residents, but currently, there are fewer than 160. The province stopped admitting new residents in 1996, except for short-term placements and by court order.

The province announced that operations at MDC will wind down, with an anticipated closure in 2024. Residents will live in the community with additional support.

The settlement agreement includes a formal apology from Premier Heather Stefanson, which was read in the Manitoba legislature on June 1.

The class members include all individuals who resided at MDC from July 1, 1951, to May 29, 2020, who are alive as of October 31, 2016, and who have not opted out of the lawsuit. Accepted claim payments are expected to range from $3,000 to $85,000.

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