By Koskie Minsky LLP
The Federal Court has now ruled that late claims can be accepted in the CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action Settlement where it is in the interests of justice to do so, until, February 5, 2023.
At the time the motion was heard, approximately 640 people had sought to file late claims after the deadline of January 23, 2022.
The test the court has now required that late claimants must meet is to establish:
(1) a continuing intention to pursue the matter;
(2) the claim has some merit;
(3) no prejudice arises from the delay; and
(4) there is a reasonable explanation for the delay.
The failure to establish one of the criteria is not determinative as the real test is ultimately that justice be done. However, it will ordinarily be necessary for a claimant’s explanation to account for the totality of the delay, up to and including the date on which the claim is submitted.
The reasons given by late claimants for being unable to meet the deadline were frequently tied to the emotional and psychological difficulties they suffered as a result of the Sexual Misconduct experienced in the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence.
The Class Action Administrator will review each late claim and make a determination if it can be accepted. One of the representative plaintiffs in the class actions, Nadine Schultz-Nielson commented “I am extremely pleased that these courageous people, who have overcome their fears and challenges in order to come forward, have been granted an opportunity to participate in this historic class action settlement”.
Class Members who already submitted a late claim after January 23, 2022 must provide reasons to the Administrator setting out how they believe they meet the above test, no later than February 5, 2023. For those class members who have not yet made a claim, and wish to do so, they must submit their claim to the Administrator, as well as the reasons setting out why they believe they meet the above test, no later than February 5, 2023.
A blank Claim Form is available at: www.caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca/en/documents.
Class Members are encouraged to contact class counsel lawyers as soon as possible if they have questions about how to make a late claim request. Contact information throughout Canada is available here: https://www.caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca/en/contact-us