Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


The Justice Building on Queen Street in Fredericton. Image: Brad Perry

Proposed settlement reached in Restigouche Hospital Centre lawsuit

By Brad Perry Jun 30, 2023 | 4:24 PM

A proposed $17-million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit involving the Restigouche Hospital Centre.

Koskie Minsky LLP, which commenced the legal action in 2019, made the announcement in a news release on Friday.

The lawsuit was launched against the Vitalité Health Network and the province on behalf of former patients at the mental health centre in Campbellton.

It alleged the residents were subjected to abuse, mistreatment and neglect during their time there.

When the legal action was launched, the firm said it was seeking $500 million in total damages.

Darrell Tidd, one of the two lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said they are extremely pleased with the proposed settlement.

“Avoiding a 15-year court battle, and obtaining real compensation for class members today, is a big win,” Tidd said in an email.

A settlement approval hearing will be held in September when a court will consider whether the settlement is “fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the class,” said a news release from Koskie Minsky LLP.

“The Court has not decided which side is right or that the Defendants have done anything wrong. The proposed settlement is also not an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the Defendants with respect to the allegations found in the lawsuit.”

The class action currently includes all individuals who were admitted or resided at the centre from May 24, 2004, to Oct. 1, 2021, and who were alive as of May 24, 2017.

It also includes individuals who resided at the centre from Jan. 1, 1954, to Oct. 1, 2021, who claim they were sexually assaulted.

The lawsuit was launched after a scathing report released by New Brunswick’s ombud in 2019 outlined “mistreatment and inadequate care” of patients at the centre.

Charles Murray called on the province to shrink the mandate of the institution and look at closing a number of units in light of chronic understaffing.

“Far from being its intended centre of excellence, the Restigouche Hospital Centre has reverted to an antiquated model of a mental institution operating largely to warehouse New Brunswick residents with serious mental health issues,” said Murray at the time.

An external advisor hired by the province to review the ombud’s report recommended keeping the centre open but accelerating changes needed to improve the facility’s safety and quality of care.


Leave a Reply