Equitas suit...a wash.

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Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Ex Member on Tue 02 Jun 2015, 23:25

Received a letter from Miller/Thomson. More or less explaining why they placed the lawsuit on hold. I cannot wrap m head around why they're quitting. Do they really believe the GOC will "work with" The lead plaintiffs and the lawyers? As far as I am concerned the case was given up and the last ditch effort was negotiatiating. There is no law or written agreements to my knowledge with regards to the goc actually listening or for that matter implementing any changes the equitas suit reps or lawyers will bring forward. There is judgment telling the goc to change anything as the courts could not make them change specific items. Only that the ones they have are unconstitutional. So more or less the equitas suit is dead. They are done and will not be fighting something that won't successfully change something that has no real renumerational value as well. Because how would judgment be given if there is zero case law as well as jurisprudence in past cases. Damages for what? A case that holds no water...the lawyers know this and this was they're chance to bail before curling they're tail between there legs. Pro Bono. This case IMO was a wash from the get go. Bye Equitas. Your done...who's up next to file an action? If you or anyone you know plans on filing suit....do not look for volunteer counsel or pro Bono. Do like another case...like sisip. Hire a blood sucker with fangs that want to bit the GOC. And thats my opinion.

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by bigrex on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 10:52

Supreme, I do not think that the lawsuit was useless, or else the courts would not have let it proceed as far as it has. At first I thought that the introduction of the CIB, may be the cause of the delay, but it might because the ombudsmen status report indicated that the GoC is reviewing the lump sum amounts, and is trying to give them the opportunity to do the right thing (that last minute announcement before the election), and the time to implement it after the election. I too am doubtful of how successful the delay will be, especially since some are saying that once the HoC is dismissed fro the election, they may not reconvene until April. That doesn't give the new Government much time to get the job done. I think they should have kept the lawsuit active, because they probably wouldn't even had the hearing before next summer anyways, and the pressure would have still been on theGoC to make preemptive changes, to avoid a full trial, and establishing the case law. But now, instead of being proactive, and forcing change, they have become reactive, pinning all their hope on the GoC making the required changes on their own.
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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Guest on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:49

Rex, outside negotiating? Without the goc having anything like a judgment? Just tells me that 1. Equitas sees an out and takes it. 2. The goc and o'toole can listen all they like, yet can say no to it all. And the only thing they have to worry about is the firm coming back after them in a year to only lose what equitas can gain...that the courts order the goc to change aspects but have no say in the aspects. Really the goc wins and wins here. And I think this is why the firm is getting out while they can IMO. As for the lump sum...I b3lei3ve it's in the thousands now that have received lump sums...I cannot see the GOC coming out and saying "here veterans here's an extra $75,000-$100,000 cause we feel we rooked all of you....that's not going to happen...even though vac gave back the billion dollar surplus.

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Guest on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 11:53

As well the goc offered to talk only because of the federal election...once it's done what do they care if crap drags on after the fact....equitas will be a long time in courts.

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by bigrex on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 16:54

I agree that it could be a long process, but I don't agree that the courts are powerless to effect change. Actually, the courts could say that changing the disability compensation package, after a person has already joined the military, could constitute a breach of trust. I know when I joined, it was with the understanding that, if injured, I would be compensated for life. So they may not be able to throw out the NVC altogether, only impose it on those who chose to join after 2006. If that is the case, then it could also be negotiated that the appropriate pension would be on a go forward basis. Or if they decide to simply increase the Lump Sum, it will likely done by a percentage, like 10-15%. Since the average lump sum award was only around $40000, an additional $4000-$6000 on average isn't going to break the bank.

And just because you say that it cannot be won, doesn't mean that it's true. after all, if I remember correctly, you also said that we would lose the SISIP lawsuit.
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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by teentitan on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 17:28

Here's a letter and video of Don Sorochan explaining the what's and why's

We are writing to you because you have reached out to us in the past regarding your interest in being involved in or obtaining information about the class action lawsuit brought against the Government of Canada on behalf of Veterans who have been effected by decreased compensation under the New Veterans Charter.



As you may have heard in the media or through your friends and colleagues, there have been recent settlement negotiations with the Government on this lawsuit. As a result, we wanted to provide an update to as many Veterans as possible to properly inform everyone about what has occurred.



The first point we want to make clear is that the lawsuit has not settled. Earlier this year, following the appointment of Minister O’Toole, the government, and specifically representatives of the Minister, reached out to the representative plaintiffs and counsel on this lawsuit to see if the parties could work together to resolve the issues in this litigation. To that end, we have met with the government many times over the last several months and have expressed our concerns about the lack of benefits as well as problems in the culture at VAC, and shared our recommendations for further change.



As you may know, the Government has recently tabled legislation (Bill C-58) containing proposed reforms that will require legislative enactment. While these changes are not enough for the parties to agree to settle the lawsuit, we see these proposed changes as a positive first step. For the first time since the lawsuit commenced three years ago the Government has shown an intention to take steps and open a dialogue with us towards proposed change and therefore this is the beginning of the process we were hoping to make with this lawsuit. However, it is not enough to settle.

What has occurred, is that the parties have agreed to hold off on the court processes for one year, in order that we can continue negotiations and work with the Government towards further proposed reforms.



It is our view that a negotiated resolution to this lawsuit is in the best interests of Veterans for several reasons. Chief among them is the frailties of the legal process and the need for an efficient solution to getting better benefits for those suffering now.



First, it is important to realize the frailties of the litigation process. When we started this process the Government brought an application to strike out the case arguing that the Veterans did not even have the legal right to sue the Government for decreased benefits. There is quite a lot of case law out there that suggests that a government is entitled to spend their money any way they see fit. What we are arguing for is a novel exception to that which is that the government has a special obligation to veterans that requires them to provide adequate and fair compensation for injuries suffered in service to the country. While this view seems obvious and would carry the day in the court of public opinion, there is no law on the books to support it. Currently the matter is before the Court of Appeal and they have yet to render judgment. The Government attempted to abandon this appeal in Court on Monday, however unfortunately, the Court would not allow the appeal to be abandoned as argument had already been heard by the Court. Instead the Court of Appeal ordered that the Appeal also be held in abeyance for a period of one year. Therefore there remains a risk that the Court could reject our argument and strike out the case entirely, resulting in a bad legal precedent for Veterans going forward. Whether we win or lose in the Court of Appeal the matter would likely proceed to the Supreme Court of Canada and we again cannot be certain that the outcome would be successful there. All this is to say that we still have a long legal battle ahead just to gain the right to sue at the trial court level.



The next issue with the legal process is that the ultimate victory that we could receive would be merely a declaration of invalidity. When Courts find legislation to be unconstitutional they declare it invalid and then direct the Government to fix it. The Court cannot re-draft the legislation itself. In other words, the Courts cannot order the government to increase the lump sum or return to a pension scheme. All the Court has the power under our Constitution to do is to declare that the NVC is unconstitutional and that the government must fix it. There is no guarantee what that fix may be.



This brings us to where we are today. Since Minister O’Toole has been appointed there has been a shift in Veterans Affairs from ignoring or fighting that there is a problem, to acknowledging that there is a problem and wanting to fix it. If the Government is in a position where they are ready and willing to fix it now, rather than 7 years from now when ordered to do so by the Courts, then we truly believe that it is in the best interests of all Veterans to work with them, rather than fight them, to make sure they get the fix right.



The difficulty with ongoing litigation is that the government cannot work with us if we are engaged in litigation. In addition, if we were to be successful after trial and the Court ordered the government to fix the legislation, the government would be under no obligation to seek our input on what the proposed changes would be. By holding the litigation in abeyance we have created the opportunity for our team to be involved in driving what the changes will be. During this period of abeyance, the plaintiffs and their counsel will assess the Government’s implementation of the tabled reforms. We will also provide input to the Government and the Minister of Veterans Affairs as to what additional reforms should be made so that Canada may fully honour the obligations under the Social Covenant. Specifically we will have two representative Plaintiffs working on a stakeholder advisory committee and acting as liaisons between the Veterans community, the government and the legal team regarding reforms that are needed.



It is our view that a negotiated outcome will be the fastest and most effective way to see change.



While it may seem that giving up the “legal fight” for the time being is a loss, we see it as a temporary and necessary measure to try to affect change in the most efficient way. We all know that there are Veterans who are suffering daily without needed benefits and they cannot wait for a seven year legal battle. Change needs to happen now and we see the political process as the best way to achieve that.



In addition, it is important to note that our agreement with the Government does not silence us at all. We have specifically reserved the right for our legal team and representative plaintiffs to continue to comment in the media and raise issues of veterans’ benefits. It is our full intention to stay vocal during the upcoming election and to put our support behind whichever party comes out with the best proposed benefits for Veterans and to challenge the government of the day to do better.



If nothing fruitful comes of this negotiation process, which we view as unlikely, than we just pick back up where we left off in a year. While a year may seem to be a long time, in the lifespan of litigation like this it is only a temporary pause. We are using our experience as legal professionals to look for the best possible outcome for Veterans, and sometimes the best route is not always through litigation. That said, I would reiterate that the litigation is not over and the agreement reached with the Government gives us the right to recommence the action

Please do not hesitate to follow up with any additional questions you may have to our legal team at: veterans@millerthomson.com. We want to be sure that the message that is getting to the veterans community about what this all means is accurate and we are happy to address your concerns.



For additional information, attached is a link to the Global News interview with Miller Thomson counsel, Don Sorochan Q.C. which explains what has happened with the lawsuit:

http://globalnews.ca/video/2030538/veterans-government-put-lawsuit-on-hold

Regards






Kelsey Thompson
Miller Thomson LLP
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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Guest on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 17:33

bigrex wrote:I agree that it could be a long process, but I don't agree that the courts are powerless to effect change. Actually, the courts could say that changing the disability compensation package, after a person has already joined the military, could constitute a breach of trust. I know when I joined, it was with the understanding that, if injured, I would be compensated for life. So they may not be able to throw out the NVC altogether, only impose it on those who chose to join after 2006. If that is the case, then it could also be negotiated that the appropriate pension would be on a go forward basis. Or if they decide to simply increase the Lump Sum, it will likely done by a percentage, like 10-15%. Since the average lump sum award was only around $40000, an additional $4000-$6000 on average isn't going to break the bank.

And just because you say that it cannot be won, doesn't mean that it's true. after all, if I remember correctly, you also said that we would lose the SISIP lawsuit.

I said sisip suit would not win? I did say if won...take what ya can get

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Guest on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 17:34

Sisip and equitas is like apples and oranges

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Riddick on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 17:42

The Cons are called "cons" because they are con-niving and con-spiring.

I understand the position of The Equitas Society and negotiating (or not negotiating) while they are in court.

Having said that, I surmise it could be a very good opportunity for the Cons to get votes through blackmail/coercion; if you want this......blah blah blah, then you will have to wait till after the election when we are re-elected for it to become into effect.

Regardless what they come up with, I will not be voting for Harper, as he has lost all credibility and made himself out to be a dictator and both are very bad for veterans and all Canadians.

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by teentitan on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 17:53

One of the points I have been told at the April Summit and in conversations with VAC staff, the Ministers staffers was that the adjudicators were instructed to loosen up and give the benefit of the doubt to the applicant.

A CWO and a Registered Nurse are now in the adjudicators office to explain the military operations and the RN is to explain beyond the Merck Manual medical conditions.

Another one is the adjudicators were "ordered" to pick up the phone and call the applicant if they are confused about something the applicant wrote.

All of the above started a month after the new DM, Walt Natynzk, was appointed.

This is info I gathered so when Equitas and O'Toole sat down there is obviously more that is being implemented by VAC to live up to the new approach in dealing with veterans.....VETERANCENTRIC.

So maybe that is why there is a one year "pause" not "dropped" but paused law suit.

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Guest on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 20:07

timing is everything if they wanted to put this on hold and negotiate you do it after the election .

of course if you were the GOC you would want to do it well before .

everyone knows this and everyone knows the reasons why .

this makes no sense whatsoever . idiotic comes to mind .

propat

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by teentitan on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 21:24

Propat if timing is everything why would you suspend a law suit before an election? All your doing is giving the opposition parties ammo. I'll bet the war rooms, spin doctors, voice actors are drooling over this one....

This is the perfect "The Conservatives are all smoke and mirrors....just ask Equitas"

Sometimes you have to trust what you read and hear from the Equitas lawyers.
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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Guest on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 23:40

actually teen with a suspension right now under the guise of negotiation this is the absolute best political move for them outside of ending it with a return of the monthly pension.

however since its obvious the cons  will have none of this they are left with two choices keep fighting vets in open court or the nicely thought out sceam they got going on right now .

you might think that fighting vets in open court is a better political move than a suspension under the guise of negotiations but I sure as heck don't not in a long shot . this cooling off of the lawsuit not that long after the announcements of the so called improvements can be spun very well by the cans and WILL BE .

TRUST??? --- TRUST????? WHOLY FRICKITY FRACK TEEN that time has come and past buds .

I trust NO ONE !!!

haven't in a long time . paranoid ???? maybe so but it has served me very well indeed .

I just don't trust anymore teen I question that's it that's all .

always question authority

propat

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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by teentitan on Wed 03 Jun 2015, 23:52

Well propat as long as your not wearing the tin foil hat I wouldn't call you paranoid. But I have learned in the past you have zero trust of no person, gov't, branch of gov't so to "discuss" the topic is an exercise in futility. LOL
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Re: Equitas suit...a wash.

Post by Guest on Thu 04 Jun 2015, 00:04

Want to impress me. Fix the lump sum issue.

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