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Lawyer won’t appeal fee decision in Home for Colored Children case

The Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children is seen in Dartmouth. File/Global News

HALIFAX – The lawyer who represents people who allege they were abused at a defunct Halifax orphanage says he will not appeal a ruling that rejected his compensation proposal from a $34-million class-action settlement in the case.

Ray Wagner says his firm doesn’t want to cause any further harm to former residents of the Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children after all they have gone through to get the combined settlement from the province and the orphanage.

Wagner had proposed that his firm receive $6.6 million from the settlement, citing the amount of time and labour it took to secure the deal after 16 years.

But the Nova Scotia Supreme Court instead awarded his firm $5.78 million.

Wagner says as a result, his firm will absorb $300,000 to $400,000 in costs for expert reports that the original claimants in the class-action lawsuit would have had to pay under the court decision.

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Tony Smith, one of the former residents who helped spearhead the legal fight, says many agree prolonging the court process would have split those who are eligible for payment under the settlement.

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