OTTAWA , Nov. 25, 2019 /CNW/ - The Federal Court approved a settlement regarding class action lawsuits initiated by seven former members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) for current and former members of the Canadian Armed Forces as well as current and former employees of the Department of National Defence (DND) and Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces, who experienced sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination based on sex, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation ( " Sexual Misconduct " ) in connection with their military service and/or employment. The court determined that the settlement is fair, reasonable and in the best interests of the class, and certified these lawsuits as class proceedings for the purposes of settlement. Eligible Class Members may apply for monetary compensation as well as other measures available under the terms of the settlement.
The range of individual compensation for most Class Members is estimated to be between $5,000 and $55,000 depending on the type of Sexual Misconduct and an assessment of the harm suffered. Payments will also depend on how many Class Members submit claims. Some Class Members who experienced exceptional harm may be eligible for amounts up to $155,000 . The details are explained in the Settlement Agreement. A copy of the Settlement Agreement is available here: www.caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca. The settlement also provides Class Members with the option to participate in a restorative engagement program to share their experiences with senior institutional representatives, and includes several other measures aimed at addressing Sexual Misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Eligible Class Members may be able to receive compensation under the settlement or they may choose to opt out of the settlement. They have the following legal rights and options:
1. Do nothing
If you do nothing, you will give up any right to claim under the settlement and you will give up the right to sue Canada or others on your own or bring a Human Rights complaint in relation to any sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination you experienced while serving in the military or as a DND employee /SNPF.
2. Submit a Claim Form
In order to make a claim for financial compensation, and/or seek to participate in the restorative engagement program, you must submit an Individual Application/ Claim Form together with all supporting documentation to the Claims Administrator. Submit your claim using the fast, secure and easy website: www.caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca or download the printable version of the claim form found on the website and submit your completed application by regular mail to: at CAF-DND Sexual Misconduct Class Action, c/o Epiq, P.O. Box 507, STN B, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5P6, or by email to : email@example.com Claims will be accepted as of March 25, 2020. The deadline to file a Claim Form is September 25, 2021.
3. Opt Out
If you don't want to be bound by the terms of the settlement, you can Opt Out. You will have until February 24, 2020 to make your decision and submit your Opt Out form to the Administrator. If you Opt Out, you will not be entitled to any financial compensation from the settlement, but you will keep your right to sue Canada or others on your own or bring a Human Rights complaint in relation to any sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination you experienced while serving in the military, or as a DND/SNPF employee, subject to any time or other legal limitations applying to your claim.
If you have commenced a legal proceeding against Canada for damages resulting from the Sexual Misconduct covered by this settlement and you do not discontinue it before February 24, 2020, you will be automatically deemed to have Opted Out of the settlement and you will not be able to claim compensation.
Class Members who died before March 15, 2019 are not eligible for compensation under the settlement. Estates of Class Members who died before March 15, 2019 that wish to seek compensation through other legal avenues should seek legal advice promptly regarding their options.
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