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Updated: Tue, 17 Sep 2013 14:07:36 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Huronia Regional Centre lawsuit ends in $35M settlement



Patricia Seth, left, and Marie Slark, former Huronia Regional Centre residents and plaintiffs in the class action proceeding against the Ontario government, are shown in Toronto on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Galit Rodan/Canadian Press

Patricia Seth, left, and Marie Slark, former Huronia Regional Centre residents and plaintiffs in the class action proceeding against the Ontario government, are shown in Toronto on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Galit Rodan/Canadian Press

The Ontario government has reached a $35-million settlement in a class-action lawsuit with former residents of the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia, a former institution for people with disabilities that was accused of humiliation and abuse.

Plaintiffs had alleged that abuse was doled out almost daily at the centre operated by the province for 133 years. They had been seeking $2 billion.

CBC's Jeff Semple reported that a $35-million, tax-free settlement fund will be created for former residents.

- Listen to David Gutnick's award-winning doc about the stories of abuse, The Gristle in the Stew

The maximum individual payout under the agreement would be $42,000.

A lawyer for the province told Semple that it will also issue an apology.

The suit covered those institutionalized at the centre between 1945 and 2009, many of whom are now aged or dying.

Lawyers for the complainants had said the plaintiffs alleged they were "emotionally, physically and psychologically traumatized by their experiences at Huronia," which closed in 2009.

They alleged the province "breached its fiduciary, statutory and common law duties ... through the establishment, operation, and supervision of Huronia," and failed to care for and protect the plaintiffs.

The class action was certified in July 30, 2010.

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