BRITISH COLUMBIA

Woodlands Residential School Compensation Deadline Extended

10/04/2012 07:33 EDT | Updated 12/04/2012 05:12 EST
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VANCOUVER - A complicated settlement process for those who survived sexual and physical abuse at the former Woodlands Residential School has forced another extension of the compensation deadline.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Robert Bauman has granted an extension to September 2013 for approval of compensation claims for residents who were harmed at the institution after 1974.

In a ruling issued Thursday, Bauman noted that only nine precedent-setting claims had been decided out of more than 800 members in the class-action lawsuit.

It's the second time the court has extended the deadline after the original September 2011 claim compensation period.

Bauman says that such a complicated settlement process wasn't contemplated when the original deadline was given and he urged lawyers for the class to consider hiring another firm or firms to help speed up the process.

The province isn't legally obligated to compensate people who were harmed at Woodlands before 1974, but the claimants' lawyer David Klein says a more streamlined process could be developed to recognize the suffering of all survivors.