by John McKiggan

Class Action Deadline

December 4, 2009 was an important deadline under the class action settlement agreement reached with the Diocese of Antigonish. If anyone opted out of the class action settlement on or before December 4, 2009, the Diocese had the right to pull out of the class action.

Similarly, if more than 70 people came forward before December 4, 2009 indicating that they wanted to pursue a claim against the Diocese, Ron Martin had the option to pull out of the class action.

Tremendous Support for Class Action
There has been overwhelming support for the class action from survivors. The feedback that we received from the survivors who have contacted us have unanimously supported Ron Martin and the class action settlement.

I think one of the survivors put it best:

“I survived so many years thinking I was alone, and it was my fault, with no one to turn to. I give all my support to Ron Martin and the class action.”

Some People Have Opted Out
I have been advised by counsel for the Diocese that the Diocese has received some opt out forms from people who do not want to be part of the class action settlement.

Therefore, under the terms of the settlement agreement conditions were met that would have allowed either the Diocese or Ron Martin to pull out of the class action.

Parties Have Agreed to Move Forward

I am pleased to announce that the Diocese and Ron Martin have agreed NOT to exercise their option to pull out of the class action. Therefore the Antigonish Diocese Class Action Settlement is now final and will proceed as planned.

Historic Day

This is a historic day. This is the first time that the Catholic Church has acknowledged its responsibility to survivors of sexual abuse. This is also an important day because Ron Martin has finally been able to fulfill the promise that he made to his brother to ensure that he, and everyone else who was sexually abused by a priest of the Antigonish Diocese, would be able to receive accountability for what happened to them.

Thank You

On behalf of Ron Martin, I would like to thank all of the class members who have supported Ron Martin in his efforts. It has been a long and difficult road to this day. The Class Members and the parishioners of the Antigonish Diocese will now be able to move forward so that survivors can receive compensation and, more importantly, accountability. It is also my hope that for some survivors this process will provide some measure of reconciliation with the Catholic Church.

For more information about the Antigonish Diocese Class action you can contact me through this blog or by calling our office toll free 1-877-423-2050.

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