Federal Court approves Canadian military veterans’ class action agreement

Federal Court approves Canadian military veterans’ class action agreement

HALIFAX, NS April 5, 2013 – Class counsel with the SISIP Long Term Disability Class Action is pleased to receive a Federal Court of Canada ruling in favour of the proposed settlement agreement with the Government of Canada.

The estimated total value of the approved settlement is up to $887.8 million. This includes $424.3 million in retroactive payments, which in turn includes $82.6 million in interest.

“The $887 million agreement will make life better for many of Canada’s disabled veterans,” said lead counsel Peter Driscoll with McInnes Cooper. “We are pleased to have represented the class for the past seven years and return what had been wrongly taken from them.”

The approved agreement includes:

  • Full retroactive payments dating back to 1976, including interest;
  • Future payments; and
  • Access to a $10 million Scholarship Fund for Class Members or their family members.

As well, Class Counsel from McInnes Cooper and Branch MacMaster will donate $1 million to a charity for support of access to justice initiatives for veterans, and $50,000 to lead plaintiff Dennis Manuge for all the work he has done in advancing this case on behalf of all veterans.

In his favourable ruling, Justice Barnes stated, “...I have no hesitation in approving the proposed settlement of this action.  It is a generous, complete and thoughtful resolution of the issues that were raised in the litigation and it will provide substantial financial assistance to thousands of disabled CF veterans and their families.”

“I would like to congratulate Dennis Manuge for his dedication and efforts over the past seven years to right this wrong,” said Driscoll. “Canada’s disabled military veterans would not be receiving what they rightly deserve it wasn’t for him.”

Justice Barnes also gave credit to lead plaintiff Dennis Manuge, stating, “Without the tenacity of Mr. Manuge, the essential goodwill of the parties and the hard work of all legal counsel involved, this settlement would not have been possible.”

Justice Barnes approved class counsel legal fees of approximately 4 per cent of the total value of the settlement.

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About the SISIP Class Action

The Class Action was initiated in March of 2007 on behalf Dennis Manuge and all other disabled veterans whose SISIP Long Term Disability Benefits are reduced by the amount of the monthly VAC (Veterans Affairs Canada) Disability Pension they receive under the Pension Act.  On May 1st, 2012, the Federal Court of Canada ruled that the Government of Canada acted illegally in making deductions from veterans' long term disability benefits. For more information visit www.leavenovetbehind.ca or www.mcinnescooper.com.

For further information:

 

Sandra Goodwin

Director of Client Services

McInnes Cooper

Office: 902.444.8438

Email: sandra.goodwin@mcinnescooper.com

 

Sean Lewis

NATIONAL Public Relations

Office: 902-425-1860 x.225

Cell: 902-223-2782

Email: slewis@national.ca