1. Why is there a notice?
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice (the “Court) authorized this notice because you have a right to know about the legal fees being sought by the Plaintiff's lawyers as part of the Settlement. This notice explains the request and your legal rights.
A judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice is currently overseeing this case. The case is known as Welsh v Her Majesty the Queen in the Right of Ontario, Court File No. CV-15-53404200CP. The Plaintiff is Mr. Welsh.
The Settlement in this class action was approved by the Court on May 24, 2018. The Settlement provided for a $15 million settlement fund. In addition to compensation to class members, the settlement includes legal fees, disbursements and applicable taxes, which will be deducted from the total settlement amount. The Court must approve the legal fees, disbursements and applicable taxes.
The Court will hold a hearing to determine whether the fees requested by the Plaintiff's lawyers are fair and reasonable.
2. Who are the lawyers for the Plaintiff?
The Court has appointed Koskie Minsky LLP from Toronto to represent you and other Class Members as “Class Counsel" in this lawsuit.
When they took on this class action, Class Counsel agreed to only be paid in the event of a settlement or judgment in favour of the class. Now that a settlement has been achieved, Class Counsel is asking the Court to approve payment for their work on this case.
3. How much are the lawyers for the Plaintiff asking for?
Class Counsel will ask for fees of no more than 25% of the settlement amount ($3,750,000), plus $487,500 for applicable taxes and $168,975.12 for disbursements.
Class members will not personally have to pay for the legal fees. Any legal fees will be paid out of the settlement fund.
The Court will decide the amount of payment to be paid out of the settlement funds at a hearing. The Court will consider whether the fees requested are fair and reasonable and will consider, among other things, the risks taken on by Class Counsel and the success achieved in the settlement.
4. Does this impact the Settlement?
No. The Settlement was approved by the Court on May 24, 2018.
The claims process for the Settlement is ongoing. The deadline to submit a claim in the settlement has passed. If you submitted a claim in the settlement, it will be still be assessed by the claims administrator.
5. How do I tell the Court if I do not like what the lawyers are asking for?
You can object to Class Counsel's request for payment of fees if you don’t like it. The Court will consider your views. To object in advance of the hearing, you must submit an objection that includes the following:
You can submit an objection by mail, E-mail or by phone. You must submit your objection by March 22, 2019 or attend the hearing.
You must submit your objection, to:
6. When and where will the Court decide the legal fees?
The Court will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on April 4, 2019 at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, Ontario. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to.
The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check www.schoolsforthedeafclassaction.ca or by calling 1-855-823-0656 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027) in advance if you are planning to attend.
At the hearing, the Court will consider whether the fees requested are fair and reasonable and will consider, among other things, the risks taken on by Class Counsel and the success achieved in the settlement. If there are objections, the Court will consider them and may listen to class members who have asked to address the Court at the hearing.
7. Do I have to attend the hearing?
No. However, you or your own lawyer are welcome to attend at your own expense. American Sign Language interpreters will be in the courtroom to assist.
If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you sent your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.
8. May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to address it at the hearing. American Sign Language interpreters will be in the courtroom to assist.
9. How do I get more information?
More information on this notice or the Settlement can be found at www.schoolsforthedeafclassaction.ca.
You can also send your questions to Schools for the Deaf Settlement, 3-505, 133 Weber Street North, Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 3G9 or by email at: Schoolabuseclassaction@crawco.ca.
You may also call toll-free 1-855-823-0656 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027).