Important message from Klein Lawyers
January 11, 2017 – As you know, the Past Economic Loss and Dependents (PELD) Fund of the Pre-1986/Post-1990 Hepatitis C Settlement has a shortfall – with more than $65 million in unpaid claims.
On December 15, 2016, a joint hearing was held in Toronto before the judges of Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec to discuss the status of the Compensation Fund, now that the final deadline to submit claims has passed. We are pleased to report that the judges have ordered that any surplus remaining in the main Compensation Fund will be transferred to the PELD fund for unpaid claims. Although this is a positive result, it will not be enough to pay the full amounts for outstanding claims. We project it will only be about 20% of what is needed in the PELD.
Our continuing efforts
We are still pressing the Federal Government to add more money into the PELD fund, though so far they have not agreed to do so.
Last year, it was announced that there was a surplus in the other Hepatitis C Class Action Settlement, the 1986-1990 Settlement. In June 2016, there was a hearing to determine how this surplus should be used. The courts do not have the ability to allocate the surplus from the 1986-1990 fund to the Pre-1986/Post-1990 fund as they are separate settlements. It was our hope the Federal Government would agree to request some of the 86-90 surplus for the purpose of re-directing those monies to the PELD fund. Even the judges hearing the case suggested that this be something the Federal Government should consider. Unfortunately, the Federal Government did not agree to do so. In the result, none of the surplus was allocated to the Federal Government.
We are continuing to press the Federal Government regarding the insufficient PELD fund. If you haven’t already signed the online petition for action by the Federal Government, please do so. One of our claimants has offered to sponsor a petition to Prime Minister Trudeau, the Attorney General and the Health Minister. We currently have 516 supporters on the petition and are looking for more to join this cause. If you, your family members, or your friends wish to show their support, please have them go to this link: https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-final-justice-for-canada-s-tainted-blood-scandal-victims. It will only take a minute or two. We also encourage you to contact your member of parliament to express your views on this.
Before any funds can be transferred to the PELD fund, the claims that were filed just before the final claim deadline of June 30, 2016 need to be processed. The Claims Administrator is working diligently to ensure these claims are resolved as quickly as possible. We anticipate we will have a more accurate timeline on the transfer to the PELD this summer.
We will provide you with another update as soon as we have any additional information.