More on the lawsuit, a letter being sent around, and inaccessible forms, for serious?

***note*** this entry was typed and published using Microsoft word, so it’s formatting may be scued. Do to the time sensitive nature of this information, my goal was to get it out as quickly as possible. The content is still readable, but please have patience while reading, do to formatting issues. If your getting this by e-mail via subscription, please use the link provided in the message to go to this post on the web as edits may have been entered after this posts publication. ***end note***



I’ve been posting previous entries On this very issue Since it’s inception, and you can find them in this same category. In about mid December a bunch of people, who may end up showing up in the comments commenting on this, started receiving letters about this lawsuit, and saying if they didn’t take action, they’d be automatically included. I thought, ok, they won’t find me, because I’m still in flux. But boy, was I wrong. I have comments on this issue, the way it was handled, and more, and I’ll put those comments after I give you the pleasure of reading a scanned copy of the letter. Please note this letter’s 2 double sided and one single sided page long, a total of 5 pages. I didn’t have time to edit, and correct, again, the content is what matters, not how it’s formatted. I’ll list the website at the end during my comments.

—begin scan—

To Anyone Who Attended the W. Ross

MacDonald School (formerly Ontario School for

the Blind) or are the Family Member of

Someone Who Did


A Class Action Lawsuit May Affect Your Rights.

A court authorized this notice. You are not being sued.

·    You could be affected by a class action lawsuit involving W. Ross MacDonald School, formerly the Ontario School for the Blind (“W. Ross MacDonald”). W. Ross MacDonald is a provinciallyoperated

elementary and secondary school for children with visual disabilities.


A Court has approved the lawsuit as a class action that includes anyone who was a student at W. Ross MacDonald from 1951 to the present day and certain of their family members. If you know

a former student of W. Ross MacDonald who cannot read this notice please share this

information with them.

The Court has not decided whether the Province of Ontario did anything wrong, and the case is currently scheduled to go to trial. There is no money available now and no guarantee there will

be. However, your rights are affected, and you have a choice to make now.


·    Lawyers must prove the claims against the Province of Ontario at a trial. If money or benefits are obtained you will be notified about how to ask for a share.


Your options are explained in this notice. To be removed, you must act by April 1, 2013.

Stay in this lawsuit. Await the outcome. Share in possible money and

benefits. Give up certain rights.


By doing nothing, you keep the possibility of getting money or other

benefits that may come from a trial or settlement. But, you give up any

rights to sue the Province of Ontario on your own about the same legal

claims in this lawsuit.



Get out of this lawsuit. Get no money or benefits from it. Keep rights.


If you ask to be removed (opt out) and money or benefits are later awarded,

you won’t share in that money or benefits. But, you keep any rights to sue

the Province of Ontario on your own about the same legal claims in this







1.    Why was this notice issued?

What is this lawsuit about?

Why is this a class action?

Who is a member of the Class?

What is the Plaintiff asking for?

Is there any money available now?




1.    What happens if I do nothing?

What if I don’t want to be in the Class?



9.    Do I have a lawyer in the case?

How will the lawyers be paid?


A TRIAL    Page 5


9.    How and when will the Court decide who is right?


Will I get money after the trial?




9.    How do I get more information?






This lawsuit has been “certified” as a Class Action. This means that the lawsuit meets the requirements

for class actions and may proceed to trial. If you are included, you may have legal rights and options

before the Court decides whether the claims being made against the Province of Ontario on your behalf

are correct. This notice explains all of these things.


The Honourable Madame Justice Horkins, of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, is currently

overseeing this case. The case is known as Seed v. Ontario, Court File No. CV-11-420734. The person

who started this lawsuit is called the Plaintiff. The Province of Ontario is the Defendant.



The lawsuit says the Province of Ontario failed to properly care for and protect people who attended and

resided at W. Ross MacDonald. The lawsuit says that students were emotionally, physically, and

psychologically traumatized by their experiences at the school. The Province of Ontario denies these

claims. The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or the Province of Ontario is right. The lawyers

for the Plaintiff will have to prove the claims in Court.


In a class action one or more people called “representative plaintiffs” sue on behalf of people who have

similar claims. All of these people with similar claims are called the “class” or “class members.” The

court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who remove themselves from the class.


The representative plaintiff in this case is Robert Seed. Mr. Seed attended W. Ross MacDonald for 11

years in the 1950s and 1960s.


You are included in this lawsuit if:


·    you attended or resided at W. Ross MacDonald at any time between 1951 and the present day;


you are the parents, spouses, children or siblings of someone who attended or was in residence at W. Ross MacDonald between 1978 and the present day


you are an estate trustee for a person who was a student (1951 onward) or a family member of a student (1978 onward) and that person was living on or after February 22, 2009


Plaintiffs are asking for money or other benefits for the Class. They are also asking for attorneys’ fees

and costs, plus interest.



No money or benefits are available now because the Court has not yet decided whether the Province of

Ontario did anything wrong, and the two sides have not settled the case. There is no guarantee that

money or benefits will ever be obtained. If they are, you will be notified about how to ask for a share.






You have to decide whether to stay in the Class or whether to remove yourself before a possible trial, and

you have to decide this by April 1, 2013.



If you do nothing you will automatically remain in the Class. You will be bound by all Court orders,

good or bad. If any benefit is awarded, you may need to take action in order to receive any benefits. Staying in this Class will not impact the residence or services and supports received by class

members from community based agencies which are funded by the Province of Ontario.


If you decide not to participate in the lawsuit, you must remove yourself– this is sometimes referred to as

“opting out.” If you remove yourself, you will not receive any money or benefit that may be obtained as a

result of this lawsuit. You will not be bound by any Court orders and you keep your right to sue the

Province of Ontario regarding the issues in this case. You cannot change your mind later and opt back

into the class action.


To remove yourself, complete the Opt Out Form included with this notice or send a letter that says you

want to be removed from the W. Ross MacDonald Class. Your letter must include your name, address,

telephone number, and signature. The Opt Out Form or letter must be sent to W. Ross MacDonald Class

Action Administrator, c/o Crawford Class Action Services 3-505, 133 Weber St North, Waterloo, Ontario,

N2J 3G9, or by email at: [email protected].


You can also get the Opt Out Form or complete the form online at Your opt out must be received by April 1, 2013.


Call 1-877-453-8710 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027) if you have any questions about how to get out of the Class.




Yes. The Court has appointed Koskie Minsky, LLP, of Toronto, Ontario to represent you and other Class

Members as “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented

by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.


You will not have to pay any of these fees and expenses of Class Counsel. If the Court grants their

request, the fees and expenses would be deducted from any money obtained for the Class, or paid

separately by the Province of Ontario.




If the case is not dismissed or settled, the Plaintiff will have to prove his claims and the claims of the class

at a trial. The trial would be in Toronto, Ontario. During the trial, a court will hear all of the evidence,so

that a decision can be reached about whether the Plaintiff or the Province of Ontario are right about the

claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiff will win any money or benefits for theClass.






If the the Plaintiff obtains money or benefits as a result of a trial or settlement, you will be notified about how

to ask for a share or what your other options are at that time. These things are not known right now.

Important information about the case will be posted on the website for the lawyers,, as it becomes available.





You can get more information about this case and opting out: Koskie Minsky LLP (lawyers for the plaintiff and the class)

900-20 Queen Street West, Box 52

Toronto, Ontario M5H 3R3

Tel: 1.888.233.2852


Email: WRossMacDonaldclassaction(


W. Ross MacDonald Class Action Administrator 3-505, 133 Weber Street North

Waterloo, Ontario, N2J 3G9

Tel: 1-877-453-8710 (TTY: 1-877-627-7027)

Email: N_LE.sZkel,vc°.ca._

—end scan—

Ok, there you have it.

The scanned letter.

I still have it’s hardcopy, but anyhow. This is beside the point. Here are my comments. I’ll start with the manner in witch there going about this information descemination. I don’t know the legal presence of mind being used for this, but that aside, here’s my take on it. What these people are doing, is in my humble opinion spam, and spam, is unwarranted, and illegal. I understand you feel this class action is warranted, but is it absolutely necessary to force people to be in it if they don’t opt out by a specified date? (date is april 1, 2013 if you didn’t get that from the letter above). What you should be doing is this, put together a posting on a website, saying this is what we’re doing, if you know of someone, or know of any information about these issues, we would like your help. Give us, the people your attempting to force to participate, the ability to say we want in, don’t force us, ask us. Weather you think we may have information or not, doesn’t matter. This is not how you get information, it’ll make most people shut down, or ignore it, then possibly get screwed.

Now, let’s say you want to opt out, because you don’t want to be apart, ok, so let’s cover that part right now.

You first have to visit Click English, and follow the links to the online form to opt out. You’d think, because there suing on behalf of a school for the blind and visually impaired, this form would be accessible, um, how about absolutely not! I took a look at it, and got nowhere. Note I was using JAWS at the time, but I’m gonna take a gander that wineyes and NVDA will also choke on that form. I’ll have to check that later. SO your now forced to return to the website, download the form, or call the toll-free number and have a hardcopy mailed. Have a sighted person fill it out, and then burn stamp money to return this form to these fools who couldn’t write an accessible form to save there lives, in order to get out of this class action if you so choose. Now, let me say this before anyone says a word about I don’t care about those who may have been miss treated. I understand there may have been some that may have been abused, miss treated, what have you, but please, leave it up to them to come forward and participate, don’t force everyone from the early 50’s to the present day to participate unless they opt out. What do you think this will accomplish? Seriously? Do you think this’ll curry favor by sending out what could potentially be called spam? And chasing down those everyone people at there places of business, there parents home, schools, and own places of residence? Are you that desperate for witnesses? I’m totally for justice, for making those who have wronged, especially wrong children to be dealt with, but there’s a right way and a wrong way to deal with this, and Unless I’m given legal information that says they had a right to send out spam, how there forcing you to participate is absolutely wrong. I look forward to the conversation that will hopefully spark from this blog post. But remember, keep it clean and respectful. Until next time, let the comments flow!

3 thoughts on “More on the lawsuit, a letter being sent around, and inaccessible forms, for serious?”

  1. You’re right. However, at least here in the states, almost all class-action notices are done in this way. They send a letter, and you either opt-out or stay in. Now, I agree that chasing people down like that isn’t exactly standard practice, but remember, they’re trying to find folks. If they did, say, get even half of the people that were wronged in this timeframe in the suit, it would be one fekking massive lawsuit. And I also must say, how the letter was written was extremely patronizing. I would call them, speak to a human, and politely explain about how inaccessible their opt-out process is for the blind.

  2. What exactly was patronizing about that letter? Serious question. A lot of people need things explained to them in a simple form, and you need to consider that a solid number of people who attended W. Ross had learning difficulties on top of the blindness. But it’s not even about that. I’ve seen similar letters for other class actions in the past, and it’s just how they’re written.
    And I see what you’re saying about spam, but in this case it shows a lack of understanding of the court system.
    In a suit such as this one, best efforts need to be put forth to identify any potential class members. Just putting some information out somewhere saying “hey everybody, come join a lawsuit” isn’t nearly enough for a variety of reasons. The most basic of these is that not everyone is as well connected as everyone else. Unless you’re actively searching for such information, you’re not going to find it. Word of a suit filed in Ontario isn’t going to easily reach Europe, for example. People who attended that school are everywhere, living in all kinds of circumstances. If every attempt isn’t made to get the information to those people, it could lead to more legal trouble down the line. That’s why they’re going to such lengths to get everyone. They found me at an address I didn’t think they had. They don’t have my brand new one, but man, they’re good.
    The inaccessible forms, that I’m totally with you on. I haven’t seen what they’ve got on offer myself, but Shane generally knows what he’s talking about in that department, so I feel reasonably comfortable saying that the lack of electronic, accessible forms is nothing short of insulting.


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