Author Topic: Class Action Suit against NVC & "Govt has no obligation to soldiers"  (Read 192444 times)

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Offline dogger1936

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http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/exclusive+injured+canadian+soldiers+suing+ottawa+over+benefits/6442638939/story.html

Maj you have my utmost respect. :salute:

A group of injured Canadian soldiers is launching a class-action lawsuit against the federal government over services and benefits for veterans.

The soldiers say Ottawa's treatment of them is shameful, and a newer veterans charter – touted as an improvement – Is actually worse than the old one.

Maj. Mark Campbell is one of these veterans. He lost both of his legs in June 2008 after an improvised explosive device detonated beneath him during a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan.

His left leg was all but vapourized in the blast. His right leg barely hung on by a few strands of shredded bone and tissue.

Today, he suffers phantom limb pain where his left leg below the knee used to be – an excruciating kind of torment so severe, he needs methadone to manage it. He's on maximum allowable doses of other pain medications, and their list of side-effects is long. "But I have no choice," the Edmonton father of two says. "It's that, or I don't want to live."

Campbell also has "severe abdominal scarring, ruptured right eardrum, and traumatic brain injury, which has resulted in short-term memory loss."

He says learned to live with his disability, but not with the way he's been treated by the government.

"I can take being legless. That's not too hard to take," he told Global News. "What's really hard to take is seeing my family falling apart, watch my wife and children – my children failing school, because we're looking at no long-term financial security."

Campbell is one of a growing number of veterans discovering their disability benefits are actually lower under the newer veterans charter, which was introduced in 2006. "(There is) 40 per cent less financial compensation over the course of my lifetime, easily."

The Equitas Society, a support group for veterans headed by Vancouver police officer Jim Scott, says the benefits have proven to be woefully inadequate.

"The new veterans' charter has reduced the benefits to disabled soldiers by one-third for severely disabled soldiers, and to up to 90 per cent for partially disabled soldiers," Scott says, whose son was badly injured in Afghanistan.

"They have no remedy other than the courts, because they have brought this issue to Veterans Affairs Canada and have been basically with presented with spin, denial and refusal that there is a problem."

Equitas also says disabled veterans are receiving less than what civilians get under workers' compensation programs.

The group has been working for months on the class-action lawsuit, even persuading national law firm Miller Thomson to take the case for free. A suit such as this would normally cost millions of dollars.

"I'm outraged that two young men that I actually know, were so badly treated after serving our country so bravely," says lawyer Don Sorochan in Vancouver. He believes the government is not upholding its end of the bargain with veterans who risk life and limb for Canada.

"There's a social contract which, put very simply, is to look after (soldiers), to make sure they're looked after. Now, people say what does that mean? And I'm trying to say that there's a constitutional aspect to that social contract."

The lawsuit will cite Section 15 of the Charter of Rights, which provides every Canadian with equal protection and benefit of the law, without discrimination.

Campbell says there's no other option than the lawsuit, and is optimistic about the outcome. "We're gonna win this one too, because we're talking about natural justice."

But that success could be years away as the case winds its way through the courts. In the meantime, it will take several more weeks for lawyers to compile the lawsuit.

To avert another legal war, Equitas says it would prefer Ottawa to replace the veterans' charter.

Read it on Global News: Global Edmonton | EXCLUSIVE: Injured Canadian soldiers suing Ottawa over benefits
« Last Edit: May 06, 2017, 20:13:40 by kratz »

Offline ttlbmg

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 07:20:52 »
Shameful the way some of these guys are being treated, after what they've given for their country. I hope that this action does something to change the charter, although it seems as though the office of veterans affairs might need an overhaul. I hope that this can open some eyes so that people can see what these guys go through everyday.

Offline dogger1936

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 08:01:00 »
Shameful the way some of these guys are being treated, after what they've given for their country. I hope that this action does something to change the charter, although it seems as though the office of veterans affairs might need an overhaul. I hope that this can open some eyes so that people can see what these guys go through everyday.

That Maj Cambell is one hell of a man. Coming on news and telling it how it is; and showing his injuries. Hopefully more vets get angry and go to the media. Simply asking the government hasnt worked, ombudsmen meetings hasnt worked.

More pressure like this is required.

The Equitas Society and Mr Don Sorochan; I truly thank them both for stepping in where the Royal Canadian Legion is quiet; and the government lacking any recognition of the huge problems involved with the NVC.

BZ to all.

Offline dogger1936

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 09:26:30 »
From Maj Cambell down to Cpl Stoesz. Thank you from the rest of us. :salute:

A Canadian soldier based in Shilo, Man., says he will keep speaking out about what he sees as a lack of medical and mental health services in the military, despite an order from a superior to be quiet.

Cpl. Steve Stoesz said his fight to get proper health services for injured soldiers is worse than the battle he endured in Afghanistan.

Stoesz had been ordered by a Canadian Forces superior not to do media interviews, but he said he is devastated by the lack of support.

"They broke me in the fight after, in the dealing with my own country," he told CBC News on Monday.

"The country that I fought for now has broken me."

Stoesz returned to Canada in 2008 after surviving three bomb attacks in Afghanistan and suffering speech and balance problems.

He said he is worn down by the amount of red tape he has needed to go through to get counselling, physiotherapy and other medical care.

Stoesz said he had to wait for more than three years to get surgery for some injuries.

P.O.V.
Do Canadian troops get adequate mental health services? Take our survey.

As well, he said his depression and anxiety were caused not by his tour of duty in Afghanistan, but by the years of fighting to get help from the Canadian Forces.

"The loyalty, the commitment and all that — it's a one-way street. They expect it from us but they don't give it in return," he said.

Soldier did the right thing, activist says
Retired intelligence officer Sean Bruyea, who is now a military activist, said Stoesz did the right thing by speaking out.

Stoesz's case is similar to that of other injured soldiers, and he should not be disciplined, said Bruyea.

"Steve has basically challenged a big system which feels it can still muzzle people from freedom of speech," he said.

Stoesz has not been disciplined for disobeying the order against speaking out.

For its part, the Department of National Defence would not comment on the case, saying it's a matter of privacy.

Stoesz said he plans to remain in the military, where he will keep fighting for soldiers' rights and benefits.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/05/07/mb-soldier-mental-health-stoesz.html
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 09:30:22 by dogger1936 »

Offline Nemo888

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 09:57:13 »
83.3% of CBC's readers think Vets are not getting adequate benefits. What kind of douche bag do you have to be to have the political slam dunk of helping Vets with 83% support FROM THE LEFT and to be too damn tight fisted to spend a few bucks. Bean counting, troop hating mofos. Is there anything slimier than a politician?

Offline Wookilar

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 12:06:39 »
Snr bureaucrat.
Why are there swamps on top of hills?

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 13:11:10 »
Absolutely! Would not want to touch the precious money for the federal government bureaucrats and reallocate it towards injured soldiers, now would we?
I am NOT a privileged white man by virtue of being male or white. I am privileged because I am alive and exercising my right to be who I am!

Offline PuckChaser

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 13:31:14 »
Hopefully this gains traction.

As much as I hate unions, I think we need one in this case. I'm tired of having civvies "negotiate" all of our benefits away, and let things like the NVC destroy a soldier's ability to support himself and his family after giving up so much for the nation.

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 13:34:40 »
I'm tired of having civvies "negotiate" all of our benefits away,

You mean like severance ?

I'm guessing you were not complaining when a civilian pay raise meant a military pay raise. Pretty unreasonable to expect it to only work in one direction.

Quote
NVC

Can't argue with you on that one. Its a POS.

Offline dogger1936

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 16:27:34 »
Hopefully this gains traction.

As much as I hate unions, I think we need one in this case. I'm tired of having civvies "negotiate" all of our benefits away, and let things like the NVC destroy a soldier's ability to support himself and his family after giving up so much for the nation.

More soldiers need to come forward. I know of a few cases of treatment that would boggle most civilians minds. This has to hit critical mass before it goes anywhere good. Unfortunately the media and Canadians saying the vets deserve better is not making it to the hill just yet.

Offline Hamish Seggie

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2012, 16:30:34 »
More soldiers need to come forward. I know of a few cases of treatment that would boggle most civilians minds. This has to hit critical mass before it goes anywhere good. Unfortunately the media and Canadians saying the vets deserve better is not making it to the hill just yet.

Critical mass is important. Also important is the tone and language of any message you want to send. Too harsh is just as bad as none at all.
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

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Offline dogger1936

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2012, 16:34:53 »
Critical mass is important. Also important is the tone and language of any message you want to send. Too harsh is just as bad as none at all.

Couldn't agree more.Hence why I have not gone to the media yet. I contracted combat arms mouth a few years back...workin on it!

Offline dogger1936

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2012, 16:45:12 »
In all seriousness soldiers need to start writing the Member's of parliament. Either there is a bad break in the wire leading up the CoC or they just don't care.

One way to find out for certain is to engage your MP's.

Offline medicineman

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2012, 16:46:55 »
Couldn't agree more.Hence why I have not gone to the media yet. I contracted combat arms mouth a few years back...workin on it!

Stuff  like this,  I always write what's on my mind first...then sanitize it to something that's not as visceral, is polite and concise.  This way I get all the crazy ramblings off my chest, calm down a bit and then get on to serious business.  I tend to be taken a bit more seriously then  :).  Besides, you can be just as hard hitting with a short, sharp slap as hard hook - they stay awake longer to digest what actually happened vs becoming concussed and forgetful.

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Offline Words_Twice

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2012, 15:54:54 »
Mark is a helluva guy. We were Army cadets and reservists together a long time ago. He always rose to the top, whatever he did. Topped every course, an all round great guy. I have seen him numerous times on TV, I think he would make an outstanding elected official, ie an MP. I hope Mark is reading this, go for it! Take it easy pal, Mike K.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 16:01:54 by Words_Twice »

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2012, 16:05:07 »
Snr bureaucrat.
Part of the problem, from what I read here from those hitting their heads against the wall, but only part - as I've said elsewhere.....
All we need is a Minister (or higher) to stand up and say, "the rules must change, and they will change".  After all, we've seen other instances where a Minister wants something (examples here, here, here, here, here and - even if it's not entirely within government rules - here), and it happens pretty quickly.  While the bureaucrats may be partly to blame re:  how they wield their discretion, if the rules were changed properly, the bureaucrats would have less wiggle room (or have to wiggle in a different direction).

Hey, I can dream, can't I?   ;)
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Offline Nemo888

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 21:25:23 »
Unlimited risk means unlimited liability.

Here is the story.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/afghanistan-veterans-sue-over-disability-payments/article4780971/
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Afghanistan veterans sue over disability payments

Vancouver — The Canadian Press

Published Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012, 6:52 PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 30 2012, 7:51 PM EDT

A group of Afghanistan war veterans has filed a class-action lawsuit against the federal government, saying the disability payment regime under the New Veterans Charter violates their human rights.

The lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday claims disability payments are decided arbitrarily and are not enough to support soldiers who have been injured.
More Related to this Story

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    Not enough military staff to fight PTSD among returning soldiers: ombudsman

“There’s no other group of people who can be ordered to put their life on the line for their country,” said Don Sorochan, the Vancouver lawyer representing six current and former soldiers named in the suit.

In return, there is a social covenant between those men and women and the citizens of this country to take care of them if they are injured, he said.

“It’s a promise by us, as the people of Canada, that we will look after those who put their lives on the line for us and who put their bodies on the line for us.

“Unfortunately, the bureaucrats don’t think it is binding on them.”

The lawsuit claims the new charter is a breach of the fiduciary duty owed to injured soldiers, and it seeks damages as well as a declaration that disabled veterans have been discriminated against.

The disability payments for injured and disabled soldiers are “paltry” in comparison to awards handed out in Canadian civil courts and by workers’ compensation boards, Mr. Sorochan said.

Among the six soldiers named in the lawsuit against the Attorney General of Canada is Maj. Mark Douglas Campbell, 47, a 32-year veteran of the Canadian Forces who served in Cyprus, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

On June 2, 2008, Maj. Campbell, a member of the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, was mentoring an Afghan National Army battalion that was hit by an IED and Taliban ambush. He lost both legs above the knee, one testicle, suffered numerous lacerations and a ruptured eardrum.

He has since been diagnosed with depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr. Campbell received a lump sum payment for pain and suffering of $260,000.

Still a serving member of the forces, he will receive taxable monthly payments of $10,787.50 when he retires, almost half of it from his regular military annuity. The rest will come from an earnings loss benefit reduced to account for the annuity, a permanent impairment allowance because of his lost job opportunities due to permanent impairment, and a supplement because he is entirely unable to work.

It will leave him in a net earnings loss, the lawsuit claims.

“Mr. Campbell suffered a catastrophic injury that ended his upwards career as a senior decorated Canadian Forces member,” says the lawsuit.

“He is incapable of earning a gainful income and will most certainly suffer financial distress in the future as family needs far exceed their reduced means.”

Cpl. Bradley Darren Quast, 23, was part of a light armoured patrol hit by an IED on Dec. 30, 2009. Four soldiers and Canadian journalist Michelle Lang were killed.

“Mr. Quast was extremely disoriented following the blast. He found himself lying amongst deceased and dismembered victims of the blast,” the lawsuit says. “People were screaming and Mr. Quast saw injured and dying comrades strewn about the blast (site).”

Mr. Quast, a reservist in the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment, suffered severe injuries to his leg and foot. He’s undergone numerous surgeries and has another scheduled for spring of next year.

Mr. Quast, who has been told he will be medically discharged but has not been given a date, received an initial $55,000 lump sum payment for pain and suffering and another $43,000 last year.

In May, he received another $102,000 lump sum payment for post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder.

Mr. Quast, who wanted to pursue a career as a police officer, may never be able to meet the physical requirements, the lawsuit says.

The other soldiers named in the suit include a Port Moody soldier who suffered injuries to his knees patrolling the streets of Kabul and a Vancouver reservist hit by a tree felled to clear out fields of fire around a remote outpost in Kandahar province.

Bombadier Daniel Christopher Scott, a reservist from Surrey, B.C., was injured in a February 2010 training accident at the Kankala Range in Kandahar province.

Mr. Scott, 26, suffered a leg fracture, collapsed lung and damage to his kidney, spleen and pancreas when a claymore mine exploded close to his platoon. Another soldier died en route with him to the hospital at Kandahar Air Field.

Two officers in charge and a warrant officer who detonated the mine faced court-martial over the accident.

Mr. Scott received a $41,000 lump sum payment in lieu of a disability pension, an amount the lawsuit said is insufficient to cover damages for the permanent injuries he suffered and the loss of earning capacity.

The allegations in the lawsuit have not been proven in court.

It’s not the first lawsuit launched over the New Veterans Charter, which was adopted unanimously by Parliament and came into effect in 2006.

Earlier this month, Veterans Affairs ended a policy of clawing back benefit payments of disabled veterans after a Federal Court rejected the practice.

It is the “honour of the Crown” that is at stake, said Mr. Sorochan, who has taken on the case pro bono.

He said he is always hopeful that disputes can be resolved without a long court fight. A class-action lawsuit can take years to wind its way through the courts.

“The New Veterans Charter was thought, unanimously, by all politicians then in Parliament, to be a good thing. They were wrong. And now we’re using this lawsuit as a mechanism to try and get it across that they were wrong,” he said.

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2012, 06:35:24 »
A bit more from the Toronto Star:
Quote
Wounded and injured soldiers have launched a class-action lawsuit against the federal government, charging that they’ve been shortchanged compensation for their often horrific and life-changing injuries.

The lawsuit takes aim at the controversial lump sum payments paid to wounded soldiers by Veterans Affairs Canada, saying it’s not enough to ensure they can move on with their lives.

Among those named in the lawsuit filed Tuesday are Dan Scott, badly injured in a training accident in Afghanistan, and Mark Campbell, who lost both legs in a roadside blast and was profiled in a Star series about wounded soldiers.

But the legal action could grow to include “hundreds” of other wounded and injured soldiers, said Donald Sorochan, a senior partner with the Vancouver office of Miller Thomson, the law firm that is handling the case pro bono.

The lawsuit notes that between 2002 and 2011, more than 2,000 soldiers suffered injuries in Afghanistan.

Canadian soldiers make an “extraordinary personal commitment” to risk their life, the lawsuit says. In return, it claims there’s an implicit promise that the country will look after them if they suffer injuries resulting from their military service.

But that vow is being shattered by the treatment of veterans today, Sorochan said.

“We, the people, made this promise. The problem is that our bureaucrats aren’t keeping it. And they aren’t keeping it because they don’t think they have to,” he said in an interview from his Vancouver office Tuesday.

“We’re arguing on several constitutional grounds that they have to.”

The 55-page lawsuit quotes from former prime minister Robert Borden, who promised troops getting ready for the battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917 that they would be looked after ....
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Offline alfa_uno

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2012, 15:19:32 »
Has anyone heard the rumor that VAC will be extending the education benefit not just for kids of the fallen but also for any injured vet? Sorry if I'm in the wrong forum, feel free to direct me to the right one.

Offline MedTech32

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 12:19:07 »
Here's some info on where to get up to date info on the status of the suit.

http://equitassociety.ca/?page_id=5

and

here is the link to the April 13 News Letter.  Looks like it'll be a long hard fight.   

:panzer:  Bring it on!!

http://equitassociety.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/April-Update-Equitas.pdf
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Offline Teager

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Offline Szczep

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2013, 17:25:59 »
Thanks Teager for that info and link.
There should be more people joining that case.

Offline Teager

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2013, 17:30:35 »
It has to be deemed a class action by the courts first from what I understand. Once the courts give the green light then more veterans can join.

Offline MedTech32

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2013, 09:59:56 »
Update:

Next court date is July 22nd or there about, still doing preliminary dancing around stuff, the gov't is going to try and get it all thrown out.  Although, our lawyers are confident.

I will be posting updates here as I get them from the lawyers.
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Offline MedTech32

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Re: Class Action Suit against NVC
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2013, 07:23:04 »
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