Equitas chair Jim Scott

Veterans lawsuit filed

White Rock group wants better compensation for wounded soldiers

A class-action lawsuit to improve compensation for injured servicemen and women was filed in B.C. Supreme Court last week.

The application is for court approval of a class-action case on behalf of all disabled soldiers in Canada.

If approval is granted, the court would hear a formal legal challenge of the federal government’s decision to alter the way wounded soldiers are compensated through paying lump-sum settlements instead of long-term benefits.

Jim Scott, chair of the White Rock-based Equitas Disabled Soldiers Funding Society, issued a written statement last Tuesday calling the court filing a regrettable, but necessary, course of action.

“Despite six years of dedicated advocacy by many veterans’ organizations and individuals throughout Canada in favour of the restoration of proper disabled benefits (that were reduced or eliminated under the New Veterans Charter enacted in 2006) for injured Canadian Forces members, no concrete evidence has resulted to date of an acceptable political solution being possible out of Ottawa,” Scott said.

The society maintains soldiers should receive the same kind of continuing disability benefits non-military federal and provincial government employees receive.

A 2011 Queen’s University study found most disabled Canadian soldiers will only receive two-thirds of the compensation they could have received under the previous Pension Act.

Disabled reserve soldiers and partially disabled soldiers will receive even less, sometimes only 10 per cent of what other provincial worker compensation programs would provide.

Scott took up the cause of veterans’ benefits after his 26-year-old son, Dan, was injured in action.

The younger Scott is one of six veterans whose stories are told in the filing to support the class action application.

As outlined in the court document filed Tuesday, Dan Scott was wounded Feb. 10, 2010 during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan as a result of the “negligence” of the officers conducting a training session with claymore mines.

When one C19 mine went off, it sent shrapnel in the wrong direction, toward the soldiers.

One soldier died.

Scott suffered multiple life-threatening injuries including the loss of his spleen, one kidney,and a collapsed left lung.

He was awarded a lump sum payment of $41,411.96.

The other five veterans have similar stories.

In every instance, the lawsuit maintains the soldiers should have been given continuing benefit payments to reflect the fact that they will have permanent medical problems.

In an email statement also issued Tuesday, lead Miller Thomson counsel Donald Sorochan said attempts to resolve the issue by discussions outside court have been exhausted.

“Therefore, to advance and protect the interests of our clients, this matter is being referred to the courts,” Sorochan said.

If the lawsuit is certified by the court as a class action, Miller Thomson will invite additional Canadian Forces members to join the action.

Jim Scott established the Equitas foundation in 2011 to raise funds for a legal challenge of the legislation.

The Miller Thomson law firm has agreed to take the case on a pro bono basis without charging for its time, and the society has been fundraising to cover the cost of court fees and other expenses.

Seed money for the lawsuit was raised last year at an event at Hazelmere Golf Course.

Tickets for a second fundraiser at the same location last Friday sold out in two weeks.

For more information about Equitas, visit www.equitassociety.ca

For more information about Miller Thomson, visit: www.millerthomson.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peace Portal Alliance Church, at the corner of King George Boulevard and 152 Street, is the extreme-weather shelter for South Surrey for the upcoming season. It is to have 14 mats available nightly for those experiencing homelessness, regardless of weather conditions. (Tracy Holmes photo)
14 beds planned for South Surrey extreme-weather shelter

Webinar tonight to field questions, share info on Peace Portal Alliance Church refuge

White Rock Whalers president Ronnie Paterson (inset photo) is hopeful the team and City of White Rock will be able to find a solution that will allow the Whalers and their PJHL opponents to use the dressing rooms at Centennial Arena. (Jody Harris photo)
Whalers waiting to hear on dressing-room availability as PJHL home-opener looms

White Rock team owner ‘confident’ hurdles can be overcome in talks with city

Fraser Health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Delta Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. (Grace Kennedy photo)
Outbreak over at Delta Hospital

In all, 45 cases of COVID-19 were identified and seven patients died during the outbreak

The Sunshine Band Club video posted to Youtube.
VIDEO: Surrey youth band shines light on ‘COVID blues,’ raises money for hospital

Virtual concert from Sunshine Band Club, established last March

Not everybody lined up to vote on Saturday. In Surrey, 68,396 mail-in ballots still need to be counted for the final election tally. (Black Press Media)
North Surrey voters steer left, South Surrey voters steer right

Once again, it’s NDP orange in the city’s north end, Liberal red in the south

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Graphic on promo material for Best Buy Canada’s Tech Wonderland event.
Drive-through ‘Tech Wonderland’ coming to PNE site a few weeks before Christmas

Best Buy Canada-backed ‘holiday’ event to raise money for charity

Aaliyah Rosa. File photo
Crown says murder of seven-year-old in Langley was planned, deliberate

The trial of KerryAnn Lewis began Monday in New Westminster

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. (B.C. government photo)
Unnamed school in Fraser Health region closed due to COVID-19

Closure announced by Dr. Bonnie Henry during daily briefing

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Most Read