Federal Court


Pensions

Federal and provincial pension plans

Federal pension plans

Settlement agreement was fair and reasonable and was in best interests of class members

Class Action addressed claims of veterans who were in receipt of various benefits, including Disability Pension benefits, and had Disability Pension amounts deducted from other benefits which they received or were entitled to receive. Representative Plaintiff, MT, and defendant brought joint motion seeking approval of Settlement Agreement in Class Action. Class Counsel and MT also sought approval of legal fees and disbursements of Class Counsel and honorarium of $50,000 for MT, to be paid by Class Counsel out of approved legal fees. Motion granted. Settlement Agreement was fair and reasonable and was, therefore, approved. The $50,000 honorarium for MT as representative plaintiff was warranted given contribution to litigation and settlement and was approved. Fees and disbursements of Class Counsel were also fair and reasonable and were approved. Consideration of all relevant factors supported court’s finding that Settlement Agreement was fair and reasonable and was in best interests of Class Members. Determination included court’s careful consideration of nature of Charter claims advanced; defences which defendant would have advanced if litigation continued; overall benefits of settlement, which resulted from concessions and compromises on both sides; and views of Class Members. If proposed Settlement Agreement was not approved, litigation would continue and would likely be long, arduous and costly. Continuing litigation could involve further discovery, trial, possible appeals and determination of individual claims. This could take three to five years.

Toth v. Canada (2019), 2019 CarswellNat 209, 2019 FC 125, Catherine M. Kane J. (F.C.).

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