Manuge v. Her Majesty The Queen: Federal Court: T-119-19

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs):

What is the claim about?

Murphy Battista LLP has filed a proposed class action against the Government of Canada concerning an error that was made in the calculation of Veterans Affairs Canada Disability Benefits payable for the period 2002 to 2010. The error was allegedly discovered by the Government in 2010, but not disclosed to veterans until 2017 as a result of a report by the Veterans Ombudsman. The Government of Canada has admitted there was an error and that $165 million dollars is owed to the affected veterans. The Government of Canada has advised they will pay out the money in 2020 without interest.

Who does it affect?

The claim is being made on behalf of all those in receipt of monthly Veterans Affairs Canada disability benefits pursuant to the Federal Pension Act or RCMP Superannuation Act. The class includes both veterans of the Canadian Forces and RCMP, and their surviving spouses, dependents and estates, as applicable. Initial reports indicate that approximately 275,000 disabled veterans have been affected.

How does a class action work?

A “class action” is a claim filed by an individual who proposes to represent all other similarly affected individuals (the “class”). The individual claimant asks the court to appoint them as the representative of the class in pursuing their claim and the members of the class benefit from the claim pursued by the representative plaintiff. In other words, if the representative plaintiff succeeds, the members of the class succeed. A representative plaintiff, and their lawyers, must be certified by the Court as the “representative plaintiff’ and “class counsel.” Once appointed the members of the class receive notice, as approved by the Court, of certification of the class claim.

Who is the proposed representative plaintiff?

The proposed representative plaintiff in this class action is Dennis Manuge. Dennis is a disabled former member of the Canadian Forces affected by this error. Dennis has acted as a representative plaintiff in previous litigation on behalf of disabled veterans against the Government of Canada regarding the offset of VAC Disability Benefits from SISIP Long Term Disability Benefits. This class action resulted in the payment of over $1Billion dollars in benefits to disabled former members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP. Details on this case may be found on the Veterans Legal Assistance Foundation website.

Who are the lawyers?

A team of lawyers at Murphy Battista LLP, led by Peter J. Driscoll, Bill Dick, Q.C., and Angela Bespflug are representing Dennis Manuge and the proposed class members. Peter was lead counsel in Manuge v. Her Majesty The Queen and Buote v. Her Majesty The Queen, the cases that are the foundation of this class action lawsuit. Peter’s counsel work resulted in over $1Billion dollars in retroactive benefits to disabled former members of the Canadian Forces and RCMP. Bill is a partner at the firm and an experienced trial lawyer who has obtained multi-million dollar awards on behalf of clients injured in complex personal injury and medical malpractice claims. Angela has extensive experience as class counsel in high-profile, national class actions. She has achieved settlements for class members in excess of $800 million and has been recognized by the Federal Court of Canada as a leading practitioner in the field. Most recently, she was named one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers of 2020 by Canadian Lawyer.

Have other claims been filed?

Other law firms across Canada have filed similar claims. Generally speaking, in such circumstances law firms try to work together in advancing similar claims in the best interest of the class. Where conflicts arise, the Court has the power to control the process and determine which firm or firms have responsibility for pursuing the claims.

What can I do in the meantime?

If you are a member of the class you will ultimately receive notice of the court process and result of the litigation should it be successful. However, if you believe you or a member of your family (even if deceased) received VAC Disability Benefits between 2002 and 2010 it is useful for Murphy Battista to hear from you in the meantime.

You can contact us by submitting the information requested in the Form Tab at the top of this page. The Form requests the following information and will be forwarded to the contact lawyers for this class action:

  • Your full legal name (include any aliases):
  • Your telephone number(s) (indicating preferred contact number):
  • Who you are submitting the information on behalf of (whether on your own behalf or on behalf of a family member):
  • Your contact email:
  • The applicable service number of the veteran (optional):

How do I contact Murphy Battista?

For information about this class action or to submit your information please contact:

Bill Dick, Q.C.
Kelowna Office phone:  (250) 979-7230
Email: [email protected]

Or

Angela Bespflug
Vancouver Office phone:  (604) 683-9621
Email: [email protected]

Media Coverage of the Proposed Class Action

Federal government looking to settle lawsuit over $165 million error in veterans benefits

MacAulay says he wants to speed up missing pay for shortchanged veterans

Ottawa could face four class-action lawsuits over $165M error at Veterans Affairs

Ottawa short-changed more than 270,000 veterans on pensions, disability payments

270,000 veterans owed $165 million for disability pension ‘error’ 

Veterans owed $165 million due to accounting error in disability pensions

 

 

 

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In the News

Federal Government in Exploratory Talks to Settle Class Action Lawsuit Over Veterans Affairs $165M Accounting Error

January 19, 2021

CBC reports on recent steps by the federal government to address an accounting error by Veterans Affairs Canada regarding the calculation of disability awards and pensions. The $165 million accounting error, affecting over 250,000 veterans, began in 2002 and continued undetected until 2010. You can learn more about the lawsuit…

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Murphy Battista’s Kelowna office is participating in proposed class action over miscalculation of veterans pension benefits

February 27, 2019

Peter J. Driscoll and Bill Dick, Q.C. are working on a proposed class action lawsuit concerning an accounting error in the calculation of disability awards and pensions at Veterans Affairs. The error ran undetected for eight years and resulted in shortchanging more than 250,000 former soldiers, sailors and aircrew. We…

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