HALIFAX, NS March 7, 2014 – Earlier today, Canadian law firms McInnes Cooper and Branch MacMaster announced a proposed class action settlement with the Government of Canada over the reduction of disabled Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) veterans’ long term disability benefits.
The proposed settlement of White and Buote v. Her Majesty the Queen, which still requires Federal Court approval, is projected to provide a total of over $31 million in benefits, plus interest, to approximately 1,000 disabled RCMP veterans. The proposed settlement also provides that the reduction will cease for all RCMP veterans currently receiving benefits and RCMP members who are medically released in the future.
The Federal Court is scheduled to consider approval of the settlement in Halifax on June 20, 2014. If it is approved, class members should receive their refund within six months of approval.
This case was initiated on June 6, 2008 by A. Gerard (“Gerry”) Buote on behalf of all disabled RCMP veterans whose long term disability benefits were being reduced by the amount of their monthly Veterans Affairs disability pension payments. Mr. Buote passed away after a battle with cancer on August 24, 2009. Shortly thereafter, David White of Bridgewater took on the role of Representative Plaintiff.
Mr. Buote’s widow, Mrs. Sheri Buote, provided the following statement: “Gerry started the class action suit because he felt all medically pensioned RCMP members and their families were being denied, and this was the right thing to do. He’d be incredibly happy today for everyone involved. I’m very proud of him, and Peter Driscoll was amazing through all of this.”