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Buote v. Her Majesty The Queen
Federal Court of Canada T-889-08
The Proposed Class Action:
On June 6, 2008 we initiated a proposed Class Action on behalf of A. Gerard (“Gerry “) Buote and all other disabled veterans whose RCMP Long Term Disability Benefits are reduced by the amount of the monthly Department of Veterans Affairs Pension (the “DVA Pension”) received under the Pension Act.
How Do I Participate In The Claim?
You do not need to do anything to participate in the claim at this stage. If the matter is certified you are automatically included in the Class unless you choose to opt out of participating. The potential class in this case is similar to the class certified in the Canadian Forces action as follows: All former members of the Canadian Forces who’s long term disability benefits under the SISIP policy number 901102 were reduced by the amount of their VAC disability benefits received pursuant to the Pension Act from April 17, 1985 to date. We can help you confirm whether you are a potential Class member by contacting us at RCMP-LTDclassaction@mcinnescooper.com. When contacting us, please provide:
- Your name;
- Your address;
- Your dates of service in the RCMP;
- Your date of medical release from the RCMP;
- The date upon which you commence receiving a DVA disability benefit under the Pension Act;
- The date you commence receiving SISIP Long Term Disability benefits;
- The amount by which your SISIP LTD benefits were reduced by your VAC disability benefits.
What Is The Class Action About?
We attach a copy of the Statement of Claim, in the “Key Documents” link. The proposed Class Action, mirrors a similar Class Action certified against the Government of Canada on behalf of disabled veterans. The claim filed challenges the authority of the Government of Canada to lawfully deduct DVA Pension benefits from RCMP LTD benefits otherwise payable. The claim further challenges the offset as being discriminatory and contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The claim is based on the information contained in the 2003 report of the DND Ombudsman entitled “Unfair Deductions from SISIP Payments to Former CF Members” which found the claw back to be “fundamentally unfair” with respect to disabled veterans. We view the position of a disabled former member of the RCMP to be indistinguishable.
Do I Have To Pay Legal Fees?
No. You do not have to pay any direct legal fees out of your own pocket to become involved in the claim. If the case is not successful, no legal fees will be charged. By agreement with the representative Plaintiff, counsel fees may be calculated as a percentage of any amounts recovered. The legal fees payable to us as counsel to the Class must be approved by the Court. For example, if a settlement, voluntary payment or other benefit is obtained as a result of the class action, we will be required to apply to Court for approval of our fee that is consistent with the terms of the agreement reached with the representative Plaintiff or some lesser amount depending on what the Court decides to be fair.
This arrangement compensates us for the risk we have assumed in advancing the case and performing the legal work without a guarantee of being paid. We do not receive any money unless we are successful.
We are currently developing a webpage providing answers to frequently asked questions from members of the Class. We expect to publish this page shortly and it will be updated as the matter progresses to assist you understand the process.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact us at RCMP-LTDclassaction@mcinnescooper.com should you have any questions.