UPDATE: Residents of P.E.I. orphanage share $486,400 settlement

Ryan Ross
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After years of legal wrangling, former residents of the P.E.I. Protestant Orphanage are sharing an almost half a million dollar settlement from the government and the P.E.I. Protestant Children's Trust.

P.E.I. Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie signed the $486,400 settlement order Friday morning, along with a second order to seal all the records except for the settlement amount, the plaintiffs' names and an appendix that lists some of the documents filed.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LIST OF PLAINTIFFS

As part of the settlement, all sides agreed to release a media statement that included the amount paid to the 57 plaintiffs as a group, although it didn't provide a breakdown of how much each person was awarded.

It did say the province paid $250,000 toward the settlement while the P.E.I. Protestant Children's Trust paid $236,400.

The orphanage was founded in 1907 to care for Island children and a new building opened in 1922.

It closed in 1975.

The legal battles began after a group of former residents filed a claim in January 2002 in which they alleged they were victims of physical and sexual abuse while at the orphanage.

In the years that followed, the case went as far as the Supreme Court of Canada, which upheld a provincial appeals court ruling that found the P.E.I. government had no duty of care toward the children who lived in the orphanage and weren't wards of the province.

In the media statement issued Friday, the parties said the settlement was made without admitting any liability by any party and was subject to a confidentiality agreement.

"Counsel for all parties noted that while no party is wholly satisfied with this settlement, it is one that all parties have agreed to live with and one that will allow the former residents to move forward with their lives and allow the Trust to resume its funding of charitable concerns," the release said.

“Counsel for all parties noted that while no party is wholly satisfied with this settlement, it is one that all parties have agreed to live with and one that will allow the former residents to move forward with their lives and allow the Trust to resume its funding of charitable concerns,” Statement

The media release also said the parties involved will have no further comments to make because of the confidentiality agreement.

Before he signed the orders, Cheverie said he reviewed the summary of the disbursements in the settlement and thought they were appropriate and fair.

"The case has had a long and winding road," he said.

Cheverie, who took over as case manager in 2004, said there was a lot of compromise involved in reaching the deal.

"A settlement by its very nature involves compromise," he said.

He was presented with several disbursement options and none of them were perfect, including the one the parties settled on, Cheverie said.

"It's the fairest, I think, way to deal with the funds coming to the plaintiffs."

Cheverie called it a "long and protracted file" and he thanked the lawyers on all sides for their work in bringing it to a conclusion.

In granting the order to seal the records, Cheverie said he had to balance the public's right to an open court system with the individual rights of the litigants.

Once he knew there was a request to seal the records, Cheverie said he advised Island media and invited them to make submissions on whether or not the sealing order should be granted.

The Guardian and the CBC responded and an agreement was reached as to what would be disclosed, Cheverie said.

He also said it was appropriate for the media to be able to intervene because the case involved public money.

Everyone was well served by the agreement because it could have taken months to deal with the legal arguments around a publication ban, he said.

"That has been short circuited."

rross@theguardian.pe.ca

twitter.com/ryanrross

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Recent comments

  • Michelle Carmela Saldana
    December 18, 2012 - 19:37

    We now more than ever have the opportunity to decide what is acceptable behavior and what is not. It cannot be left up to the paedophiles and abusers to decide what is culturally and morally acceptable. To impose their ethics in these back door deals does not only revictimize the children now adults who are suffering greatly due to the longer term sentence of torture that is afflicted when one is abused as a child, but it victimizes the whole community and for generations to come. Anyone who has ever been abused or cares for those who were abused, or even more for the safety of their community and children from paedophilers and abusers needs to support the efforts of the plaintiffs to live fulfilled lives and to above all hold the people in this back door deal accountable. They may or may not be any longer accountable to the plaintiffs, but surely members of the community can make it known this is not acceptable on any grounds even if it is just as a parent concerned for his or her child.

  • A husband
    December 18, 2012 - 07:27

    The sexual abuse case down at Penn State University demonstrates that "protecting the legacy" of certain individuals is not a good enough reason to excuse said individuals when it comes to having knowledge of the abuse of children.

    • Roch Longueepee
      December 20, 2012 - 22:05

      Good point, I will go through my documents and discuss what I can release with our legal experts.

  • LoneStarBoots
    December 16, 2012 - 19:52

    I am always disappointed when any settlement is reached where the offending party accepts no blame or admits no wrong doing. There is no amount of money that can ever cover a victim's emotional expenses, but purposefully dragging things out so you know no one but the lawyers ever really see a penny is nasty business. Having been a victim of discrimination who once agreed to a settlement, I was personally disgusted at the portion where they "admitted no wrong doing." I absolutely drew the line at any "non disclosure" clause. I settled for very little money but walked away with the absolute right to tell my story to anyone who ever asks or wants to know. That was, in my mind, my only real compensation; the right to tell the world the truth about what they did. This seems a shame, a terrible shame.

    • A husband
      December 18, 2012 - 07:09

      Perhaps one of those who investigated the matter could provide here a corresponding listing of all those who worked at the orphanage during the time period in question, as it would seem to be a greater concern to society to know who those individuals were than who the victims were. The public might also be interested in knowing which organizations are continuing to accept funding from the Trust, if that information is available. Hopefully now, some of them will realize where the money is coming from and suggest it instead be contributed to the victims.

  • Jim Poushinsky
    December 16, 2012 - 00:17

    Overwhelming trauma in childhood (often caused by sexual abuse) causes amnesia or partial amnesia for what happened. The dissociated thoughts and feelings and physical sensations cause symptoms that are misdiagnosed as every type of mental illness in adults. Until this dissociation is healed, the full extent of abuse suffered as children cannot be known. That is why deadlines and gag orders are so unjust. The worst abused have the least awareness of what they suffered, so get the smallest compensation and the least help by the deadline. This is unjust and inhumane.

  • James Petrie
    December 15, 2012 - 19:43

    There was only one Licensed Investigator hired by Attorney Clint Docken to investigate the Mount Herbert Orphanage for abuse and that was me, James Petrie. I interviewed most of the claimants and provided the videos and documentation to support the claims of abuse by the victims, to Mr. Docken. The late, Charlottetown Police Officer Bruce Morrison was very helpful and assisted me during the investigation. Unfortunately, without a real justice system, vindication or reasonable compensation was never impossible.

    • Roch Longueepee
      December 15, 2012 - 23:20

      James, no offense, I brought you in. Docken paid you, I did a great deal of investigation and research long before you came on the scene.

    • Roch Longueepee
      December 17, 2012 - 17:37

      You can also contact the office of our Lead Counsel for Restoring Dignity who can confirm who was involved and leading the investigation on the Mount Herbert Orphanage case - Mr. Richard Bureau . Richard A. Bureau Barrister & Solicitor Incorporated Partner | Morris Bureau Barristers & Solicitors O: 902.454.8070 | D: 902.454.8513 | F: 902.454.7070 6080 Young Street | Suite 307 | Halifax | Nova Scotia | B3K 5L2

  • kat
    December 15, 2012 - 15:52

    incidentally, I would like to see the Defendants List.

    • James Petrie
      December 17, 2012 - 14:36

      With respect to who investigated the Mount Herbert Orphanage the Attorney Client Docken can be reached at Client Docken & Company 900, 800-6th Ave. SW Calgary, Alberta Canada, T2P 3G3 v: (403) 269-3612 f: (403) 269-8246 tf: 1-877-269-3612 If you have any further questions I refer you to his office. James Petrie Advanced Private Investigations.

  • kat
    December 15, 2012 - 15:50

    sounds like a terrible deal. does it buy their silence as well? If so, how utterly depressing... injustice for a second time, and perpetuated. :(

  • Roch Longueepee
    December 15, 2012 - 14:09

    Gag orders, records sealed, no apology, no memorial, and little to no money.. how is this a 'settlement'? Prince Edward Island needs to be put on the map. The fact there is not even an admission of guilt is a disgrace. Failure to acknowledge the wrongs of the past translates to history repeating itself again, the Oedipus complex. This government and the church run board of directors which operated the orphanage need to be shamed. This government and the justice system has dishonored and disgraced the island. Islanders should feel anger about this and speak out.

    • A sister
      December 16, 2012 - 09:58

      Roch, I just want to say thank you. My brother was able to start the healing process knowing he was not the only one suffered at the hands of the idiots that were hired to protect and care for all you children.

    • Roch Longueepee
      September 02, 2014 - 20:36

      @ ' A Sister' - I am profoundly grateful for your kind words. Your words and your brother's healing was what this was all about. I hope he was able to find some closure before he died. I will remember him and you in my prayers. May he rest in peace.

  • UNBELIEVEABLE
    December 15, 2012 - 13:48

    Roch Longueepee....you are exactly right, this is an embarrassment to all the victims and their families, this back room lawyers deal rubbed stamped by Justice Cheverie is a disgrace to our justice system, Can one just imagine we have our very own justice system protecting a bunch of molesters, nor Criminal charges filed and fifty -seven victims. This whole matter requires a full blown public inquiry and than we will see if the so call educated lawyers and justice were really interested in these victims. Don' think so, good luck Roch get the press exposed on this as request W Five or the Fifth Estate to come to PEI.

  • Roch Longueepee
    December 15, 2012 - 11:03

    I am the person responsible for organizing and leading the investigation on this case. I am also a former resident. This case is not over yet. The press only did coverage on this yesterday because I contacted them to let them know that the case was nearing an end. The lawyers were trying to keep this quiet. A press release is being issued soon on this. There are legal options here to explore. The Prince Edward Island government and the Trust are not out of the dark. Allowing this settlement to pass as is is a miscarriage of justice and and reflects poorly on the systems of governance. Lastly form what I understand the Trust used the monies from the Trust itself to pay for its defense. This whole deal is just wrong in 20 different ways. If you feel this case is unjust, you need to speak out and criticize the government, the Trust and the lawyers on both sides of this case.

    • Islanders have a long tradition of silence . . .
      December 15, 2012 - 14:04

      The media release said the parties involved agreed to have no further comments to make because of the confidentiality agreement. So, why the comments? That said, I'd like to know if the victims were opposed to the release of their names. It does seem inconsistent given the PNP scam, or does it? And, since investigative reporting is not part of the Island culture, I doubt if many questions will be asked, never mind answered. After all, the long tradition of futile resistance and silent subservience seems to be the overarching theme of Island history!

  • strange
    December 15, 2012 - 10:49

    Strange that the Ghiz government would spend over a quarter million dollars to hide the names of their PNP friends then release the the names of former orphanage children sooo fast.

  • Marie
    December 15, 2012 - 08:46

    I'm sure that the satisfaction comes from someone finally admitting they did wrong. This "drop in the bucket" money could never erase the bad memories. May good memories overcome the bad!

  • Sylvia
    December 15, 2012 - 08:37

    I was figuring out how much each claimant will receive and it certainly isn't very much, $8533.33. I don't think any amount of money will ever compensate for what they had to endure. As the victim of sexual and verbal abuse, which was minor in comparison to what these people endured, I can confirm that it changes a person's life forever and I never started to recover until my abuser died in 2011, age 92. The abuse started 61 years ago. Unless you've been subjected to it, you can't possibly understand how it affects a person's life. I hope that these victims will now be able to get closure on what happened to them and I wish them the best of luck in their recovery.

  • Concerned for Victims
    December 15, 2012 - 08:23

    Releasing these names in my opinion serves no purpose. Victims of Sexual Abuse in Criminal cases are not disclosed for many good reasons. The real names that should of been released are the ones suspected of doing these disgusting acts against these victims. How could anyone not be charged in and horrible case involving fifty-seven victims. This does not sound ok to me. Who are these lawyers protecting and as far as Justice Cheverie goes he knows first hand what really is involved here, this victims have not been shown Justice for all, all the ones who committed these crimes are either dead or set free. My heard goes out to all you victims who in my opinion got the life sentence, no amouint of money will heal these scars knowing the real culprits got off or are getting off scot free. These Judges and so call educated Lawyers are a farse.

  • Rusty Staub
    December 15, 2012 - 07:47

    Sure didn't take long for them to publish the names of the Orphanage people as compared to the PNP names. Ironically it cost close to the same as the Liberal G'ment to try to keep the names for the PNP secret as what these people ended up getting as a settlement. Sad.... Sad.... Sad

  • Upset
    December 14, 2012 - 22:22

    The statement that really upsets me is"without admitting any liability" this is just protecting the ones who were in charge of this place, how they covered it up and who actually was involved. A settlement like this would be fair if it was for one victim, after dividing this up between numerous victims, than pay the lawyers, I would dare to bet each victim would receive very little and all the perverts walk if not deceased. Can one just imagine the Government pays up $250 thousand and they walk around wanting everyone to believe they reall care about these victims, than they silence them with a so called confidential agreement, this is the lowest of the lowest. These victims are the ones with the life sentence and the low life molesters get off scott free, for the ones who may still be living hell would not be hot enough for what you deserve. I hope all the victims closure and peace if this is possible, but the lawyers and Government have faild miserably with this one. The Judges comments about compromise is just another way of lawyers playing the back room deals looking after themselves and pretending to really care about these victims. Tell that BS to someone else.

    • Charles
      December 15, 2012 - 10:59

      Having seen the lawyers bills first hand, this settlement is a slap in the face. the majority of the fund was spent on lawyers, well over 500k, and the trustees were prepared to spend every last penny of it on protecting the truth of the disgusting crimes that were committed. the lawyers should be ashamed and not commened. the victims had no choice but to settle because the trustees were instructed to spend the entire fund to fight the victims....sick.

  • Diane Kays
    December 14, 2012 - 19:28

    Years of pain and 11 yrs in legal process results in $486,000 for 57 persons minus legal costs ---what a shameful result ! No doubt the survivors are tired --I commend them for their strength and perseverance . Now , how about the $1,000,000 in assets of the PEI Protestant's Trust go towards assisting the survivors with counselling costs, living expenses, and anything else they need !! That would fit into their wanting "to continue to fund their charitable concerns", as stated above --do the right thing !

  • grapes
    December 14, 2012 - 18:54

    The Lawyers will get more then half,so each person my get betwen 15 to 18 grand.

  • don
    December 14, 2012 - 17:31

    I think dizzy and his money, power hungry gang needs to really look at this story. What our ancestors did back between 1907 and 1975 what the people did in the Orphanage we have to pay for today. So dizzy what you and your gang are doing to islanders today will fall on your families years down the road and I’m sure they will be very PROUD of what you did to screw the island people. Think real hard your future kids and grand kids will regret being of your family. As I said dizzy what goes around comes around. (lets try this again. trying to get my opinion posted here is getting like c.bias c.)

  • Ulfric
    December 14, 2012 - 15:56

    Why do we have to know everyone's name? Having this list publicly posted will not help these people put everything behind them.

  • hmmmmmmmm
    December 14, 2012 - 12:01

    Do the residence get anything after the lawyers are paid?

  • Mary MacDonald
    December 14, 2012 - 11:42

    I am pleased that the former residents will finally have a small measure of satisfaction after their long fight. My thoughts are also with those who died before seeing this case through to today.

    • unreal
      December 14, 2012 - 19:29

      You hit an all time low victimize these people again.