Court rules claims of non-sexual misconduct in class-action not bound by statute limitations

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Trial judge must make determination on each claim

The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador has ruled that claims of non-sexual misconduct at residential schools in Labrador are not necessarily statute barred — meaning claims alleging such misconduct before Nov. 23, 1977 may be heard in an ongoing class-action lawsuit.

Scales of justice

The decision was made at the end of January by Justice Gillian D. Butler.

A 30-year limitation period applies to allegations of sexual misconduct, but the question concerning non-sexual misconduct was brought before the court in a pre-trial hearing of a class-action lawsuit involving a number of parties and claims of misconduct — sexual and otherwise — in Labrador residential schools.

Butler ruled in her pre-trial decision that the judge’s discretion should be used in deciding whether specific claims of non-sexual misconduct be held to the 30-year limitation.

Butler then handed the authority of making those decisions over to the trial judge, Justice Robert Stack.

 

 

Geographic location: Labrador

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