Court clears $900M settlement for military and civilian victims of sexual misconduct
The Federal Court has formally signed off on a $900 million class action lawsuit settlement for members of the Canadian military and employees of the Department of National Defence who were victims of sexual assault and misconduct.
The case was initiated by seven former members of the Armed Forces on behalf of past members and those still serving.
The court determined the federal government's settlement offer is fair and reasonable, said a statement from the law firm representing the victims, who are now being encouraged to apply for compensation.
The settlement provides for payments of between $5,000 and $55,000 for victims of sexual misconduct
Victims who experienced exceptional harm and have been denied Veterans Affairs benefits could be eligible for up to $155,000, the statement said.
The federal government did not admit liability in the case.
Federal Court Justice Simon Fothergill signed off the case Monday, little more than four months after the settlement was first announced by the Liberal government.
"It is a historic settlement involving some of Canada's most important institutions and the brave members of the Canadian military who put their lives at risk for Canada's protection," said Jonathan Ptak, one of the lawyers for the victims.
"It is one of the largest settlements in Canadian history, providing compensation of up to $900 million — but more importantly [it] provides the opportunity for healing and repair to this important institutional relationship."