MERLO DAVIDSON SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
CLAIM REVIEW PROCESS
- Files are assigned in the order in which they were received, unless the claimant has medical reasons (with proof) supporting an earlier review. We are currently assigning claims filed in the third week in January to lawyers for preliminary review.
- When a lawyer is assigned a file for preliminary review, she makes sure that all the required documents are included. All claimants must provide a copy of government issued photo identification, a signed and witnessed Certification of No Prior Compensation and a signed and witnessed Claim form declaration. If any of these required documents are not provided, the reviewing lawyer will ask for the document(s) when she contacts the claimant for the first time. Preliminary review of a claim will only begin once all the required documents are sent in.
- The reviewing lawyer also checks three lists to make sure that the claimant is eligible to make a claim. These lists are: the list of primary class members (provided by the RCMP); the list of primary class members who have received prior compensation (provided to the Office by the Department of Justice); and the list of primary class members who have opted out (including those whose cancelled their opt-out forms) .
- After checking these three lists, the reviewing lawyer prepares the file for the Independent Assessor’s review.
- Once the reviewing lawyer has prepared the file, the Independent Assessor reviews the Claim Form and the Claimant’s supporting documents. The Independent Assessor then makes his assessment based on the incidents the claimant describes and the information she provided. This is a solely paper-based evaluation as set out in the Settlement Agreement.
- According to the Settlement Agreement, claimants whose claims are assessed at level 1 or level 2 are not interviewed. Only claims that the Independent Assessor preliminarily assesses at level 3 or higher will be interviewed.
- If a file is assessed at level 1, the Assessor sends his decision letter and a cheque to the claimant. This closes the file.
- If a claim is assessed at Level 2, a letter is sent to the claimant to let her know that she has been assessed at Level 2 and to tell her that she has 30 days to give reasons why the Independent Assessor should reconsider that assessment and grant her an interview. The letter also sets out the test that must be met as established in the Settlement Agreement. If no request for reconsideration is received within 30 days, the claimant is sent a decision letter and a cheque. This closes the file.
- If the claimant submits a request for reconsideration within 30 days, the Independent Assessor will decide if he will reconsider the level 2 decision, based on the information the claimant provides. If the Independent Assessor decides that the claimant has met the test, the claimant will be contacted for an interview. If the Independent Assessor determines that the request for reconsideration does not meet the test, the claimant will be sent a decision letter and a cheque. This closes the file.
- If the Independent Assessor decides that a claimant should be interviewed, the reviewing lawyer will contact the claimant or her lawyer when the interview is to be scheduled to discuss possible dates and locations for the interview.
- Once the time and place of the interview is finalized, the reviewing lawyer will contact the claimant shortly before the interview day to explain the non-adversarial process of the interview and the opportunity it will provide the claimant to discuss her experience and explain how it has impacted her life.
- The claimant may choose to bring a support person to the interview (but not a lawyer). The Assessor will be accompanied by a lawyer from his Office.
- Within 6-8 weeks of the interview, the claimant receives copy of the Assessor’s final decision, a cheque and reimbursement of travel costs, if any. The file is then closed.
The Assessor will assess a claim based on an evaluation grid agreed by the parties to the agreement. This grid includes six levels of severity.
|Level 1||Minimal degree||10 000 $|
|Level 2||Mild degree||35 000 $|
|Level 3||Low moderate degree||70 000 $|
|Level 4||Upper moderate degree||100 000 $|
|Level 5||Significant degree||150 000 $|
|Level 6||Severe degree||220 000 $|
Level 1 and level 2 claims will be determined based on the written record provided by the claimant by the Independent Assessor. An interview with an Assessor will be scheduled for claims that are, after a paper review, found to potentially fall in Level 3 through Level 6. If a claimant needs support during her interview, she may be accompanied by a support person, but not by a lawyer.
Claimants who are required to travel more than 50 kilometres from their homes to attend an interview will be reimbursed for their expenses, based on National Joint Council Travel Directive. A travel claim form can be downloaded from our website or requested from our office.
Except for a limited right to seek Reconsideration of a Level 2 assessment, the decisions of an Assessor are final and are not subject to appeal or judicial review.