On January 29, 1998 Leanne Rumley and John Pratt brought a class action lawsuit against the Province of British Columbia in the Supreme Court of B.C. on behalf of the Class for damages suffered by the Class as a result of the failure of the Province to take reasonable measures in the operation or management of the Jericho Hill School to protect the Class from misconduct by employees, agents and other students during the period from January 1, 1950 to December 31, 1992.
The class action lawsuit was settled in favour of the Class in 2004. Through the course of settlement negotiations between the Province and the Class, a Settlement Agreement was concluded. This Settlement Agreement included a total monetary compensation of $12,500,000. Of that amount $10,500,000 was allocated to be paid to individual class members according to an Individual Compensation Fund Distribution System designed by Class Members.
The Class chose to use a portion of the total funds paid under the Settlement Agreement to fund a Trust to be called the Jericho Hill Legacy Trust (JHLT). $2,000,000 was set-aside for this purpose. The chief objectives of the Trust, as identified in the Declaration of Trust Document, are to provide programs to members of the Class and members of the B.C. Deaf Community, which advance their literacy, education, employment or economic self-sufficiency. The JHLT Board is legally obligated to follow this mandate and is independent of any community agency or organization.
Seven (7) initial trustees were asked by the Negotiation Committee* to act as trustees of the Jericho Hill Legacy Trust. The initial trustees agreed to undertake the operation, maintenance and administration of the Jericho Hill Legacy Trust pursuant to the terms of the Declaration of Trust. The initial trustees are composed of four Class Trustees and three Non-Class Trustees.
The seven initial trustees were Susan Birley, Ravi Coughlan, Mark Dunn, Cindy Goodeye (nee Kohlman), Gary Mullins, Chris Pedersen and Bob Skene. (see JHLT Board Trustees – Past and Present)
Neither the JHLT nor the Trustees provide programs directly. The JHLT contracts the services of outside agencies to conduct community needs assessments and/or provide particular services. These outside agencies are accountable to the JHLT to provide the services as agreed upon. For more information see the Program Information and Scholarship Information.
*Negotiation Committee means the committee established during the course of the class action lawsuit brought by the Class and includes the following individuals (in alphabetical order): Susan Birley, Ravi Coughlan, Mark Dunn, Robin Eldridge, Robert Gordon, Lewis Hartland, Lisa Jackson, Cindy (nee Kohlman), Bruce Millar, John Pratt, Leanne Rumley and Sharon Rumley.
New non-profit organization name
Jericho Hill Legacy Trust (JHLT) is now renamed to BC Deaf Scholarship Trust (BCDST). This is the new chapter of the non-profit organization with the same objectives.