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Simon Logan v. Her Majesty The Queen

gryphonv

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Just got a letter the other day addressed to me with no cover letter, no return address, etc.

Before I opened it, it looked like one of those generic credit card letters.

It appears to be a class action lawsuit run by the law firm McInnes Cooper, for former Members of the CAF who on or after July 17, 2012 received long term disability benefits and/or dismemberment benefits  under division 2, part III(B) of SISIP  Policy 001102, and had an allowance from the CAF in effect on the date of their release from the CAF or, in case of a Class 'C' member, when the injury was incurred or the illness was contracted. ("Class")

It also says all participants are automatically opted in. And you have to opt out if you dont want to be included.


I have left a lot of the letter out mostly because I'm trying on my phone. But has anyone else got such a letter, or know more info about this.

I've never recieved anything like this before. But the letter itself seems unprofessional as it just is pretty much an information pamphlet with a bit of legal jargon and no introduction. 
 

ModlrMike

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Here's a link to the firm handling the case:

https://www.mcinnescooper.com/services/sisip-ltd-allowances-class-action/

The case arguments:

http://cbaapp.org/ClassAction/PDF.aspx?id=9357

Summary: the claimant is alleging that the Crown acted improperly by not including allowances in his total income at the time of release, thereby reducing his injury pension entitlement.
 

Bruce Monkhouse

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Just from your summary that sounds pretty unwinnable. 
 

brihard

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Bottom line up front: The lawsuit contends that a member who is medically released and received SISIP LTD should have any environmental or specialist allowances included in their calculation of pre-release income. That would have a potentially significant impact, from hundreds to thousands a month in additional Long Term Disability income.

Basically, he was a serving member up until 2016, and was then medically released. While serving he received a $3730/mo allowance, $65.50/mo in PLD, and $68.50/mo in civilian dress allowance; I'm inferring from that that he was CANSOFCOM. When he released and began receiving LTD benefits, those were calculated as 75% of his base salary as a WO.

My quick math, he went from about $10665 in monthly pay and allowance before release to about $5100 a month (versus $7998 if allowances were included). So his lawyer is arguing that functionally his allowance(s) should have been included as part of his income when they calculate what you receive in benefits after release. He's arguing he got short changed just under $3k a month.

The 'class' - that's everyone covered by the lawsuit - includes:

"All former members of the Canadian Armed Forces who receive, or have received, long term disability benefits and/or dismemberment benefits under Part 111(8) of SISIP Policy 901102, and had an allowance, benefit and/or other payment from the Canadian Armed Forces in effect on the date of their release from the Canadian Armed Forces or, in the case of a Class "C" member, when the injury incurred or the illness was contracted. "

The letter you received basically says that you are a part of this class unless you explicitly opt out. That means that if there is a settlement or a verdict in favour of the plaintiff resulting compensation, you automatically fall under that compensation scheme, and you are not able to separately pursue your own lawsuit against the crown or any other legal action. If you want to opt out of the class action so that, for instance, you can lawyer up and pursue your own separate claim, you have to do so before I think some time in February. This is pretty typical of class actions, in order to prevent people from filing their own barrage of separate lawsuits late in the game if it looks like there's a verdict in favour of the claimant. I'm guessing the letter went out to everyone who has received SISIP LTD.

It's an interesting lawsuit, but I doubt it's going to turn out in his favour. Troops are told pretty much from day 1 that any allowances you get shouldn't be relied on long term, because the fickle fingers of fate or the Career Manager can change your job and you lose them.

That said I do have a certain amount of sympathy for the man based on the 'you break it, you buy it' principle that I generally apply to cases of compensation disability for those in Her Majesty's service. Suddenly going to half income would suck.
 

Teager

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If this ends up winning due to the fact that for class C reservist it goes back to time of injury and not release I'm wondering if that includes all the oversease allowances like risk and hardship? If it does then that's going to have a massive impact on reserve guys injured oversease.

Heres part of the SISIP policy they are arguing. I'm wondering if it's the wording that is being interrupted differently. SISIP uses the words "monthly pay" which could be argued to include allowances as it is not specific enough in terms of salary. Just my opinion/guess though.

Subject  to Section 1.g.(iv)  and Section 24, the  monthly  income  benefit  shall  be  75%  of the  member’s  monthly  pay  in  effect  on the  date  of  release from  the Canadian  Forces  or, in the  case  of  a  Class  “C”  member, 75%  of  the  monthly  pay  in effect  when  the  injury  was incurred  or  the illness  was  contracted; 
 

dapaterson

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"Pay" is defined elsewhere in the policy.  In my opinion, this case has limited merit and will not succeed.
 

Teager

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dapaterson said:
"Pay" is defined elsewhere in the policy.  In my opinion, this case has limited merit and will not succeed.

Indeed it is and is very specific.
 

captloadie

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If this were successful, could anyone else see the 2nd order effect that all allowances become taxable, as they are not part of our "pay"?
 

PuckChaser

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You're not taxed on your allowances? I sure as hell am.
 

captloadie

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You are right, my bad, it has been a while since I collected an environmental allowance.

 

brihard

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Hot damn, he won his case.

https://globalnews.ca/news/6728075/payments-injured-veterans-canada-federal-court/?fbclid=IwAR292Y0-ZGCObXc3d8XfYtStUF9IF1LIl-loGNzwzU2fdnDJ35x-KMqK0gM
 

PuckChaser

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Brihard said:
Hot damn, he won his case.

https://globalnews.ca/news/6728075/payments-injured-veterans-canada-federal-court/?fbclid=IwAR292Y0-ZGCObXc3d8XfYtStUF9IF1LIl-loGNzwzU2fdnDJ35x-KMqK0gM

Nice. Could this now have long reaching implications for the new screw the injured removal of allowances while on TCat policy? Perhaps even for our pensions?

I'm certain this will go to the Supreme Court though. We're asking for more than the Liberals can give right now.
 

brihard

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PuckChaser said:
Nice. Could this now have long reaching implications for the new screw the injured removal of allowances while on TCat policy? Perhaps even for our pensions?

I'm certain this will go to the Supreme Court though. We're asking for more than the Liberals can give right now.

They can ask to appeal. The SCC doesn’t have to hear it.

Implications for cessation it benefits while on category? Interesting thought.
 

dapaterson

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Not on CANLII yet. Link to Federal Court Decisions https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/

For those interested, the policy is at: https://www.sisip.com/getmedia/878dffcf-9bd7-4564-a1ad-a70e3cd10e6a/SISIP-POLICY-901102-Jun2019.pdf.aspx

And the definition of "pay", per the policy, reads:

i. (i) "Monthly pay" or "monthly salary" shall mean the member's rate of pay specified
in QR and O Chapter 204 pay tables for Regular Force Personnel.
(ii) "Annual pay" shall mean the member's actual annual rate of pay being paid within
the ranges specified in QR and O Chapter 204 pay tables for Regular Force
Personnel except that while a member is on any period of service without pay, as
granted by the appropriate authority of the Canadian Forces, such rate of pay shall
be that which was in effect for the member on the last day of paid service
immediately preceding said period of service without pay.
(iii) "Reserve Daily Rate of Pay" shall mean the Reserve member's rate of pay
specified in QR and O Chapter 204 for Reserve Force personnel.
 

ballz

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captloadie said:
If this were successful, could anyone else see the 2nd order effect that all allowances become taxable, as they are not part of our "pay"?

Notwithstanding that it's been mentioned above already that allowances are already taxable, the answer to this would be no. It's the income tax act that provides the law which determines what is taxable and what is not. CRA administers the income tax act, and you can even challenge them in court if you think they are wrong. Long story short, the DND can't arbitrarily make things taxable or not taxable.

Which to be honest what I thought the legal argument would be based on that income is income, calling it "pay" vice "allowances" is not a real thing. However, looks like his legal team took a different approach.
 

dapaterson

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Judgement is now online at: https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2020/2020fc404/2020fc404.html
 

Navy_Pete

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dapaterson said:
Judgement is now online at: https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2020/2020fc404/2020fc404.html

Wow, so all monthly allowances are included in the medical release calculation.  For most people, does that not make almost no real difference unless you were somewhere with a big PLD?  Thought you lost most environmental allowances when transferred to JPSU, but think it's a completely fair and reasonable arguement to make for something like the spec op allowance or similar for other specializations (if they exist) when Doctors, dentists, pilots etc have their own pay scale for their specialized skills, and some trades get spec pay.

Curious to see what the legal costs plus the staff time for all the briefings up the chain through DND, TBS etc cost compared to the actual payments.  It seems like they'll happily spend years and tens of millions in staff time to not pay things out.
 

Teager

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I contacted the law firm in regards to reservists on class C injured oversease. The response was if you received one of the letters saying your apart of the class action then the allowances you were receiving are eligible. They mentioned that they will be compiling a list of allowances that are considered for this.
 
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