Mark Douglas Campbell

– Combat Injured on Military Operation
– Not resident in BC.
– Claims under both the Pension Act & New Veterans Charter
– severely disabled who needs care for the rest of his life

* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents. Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts.

Mark Campbell was a 47 year old Regular Force infantry soldier with 32 years of service in the Canadian Forces, the last 25 of which have been full-time. He is a Major in the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, currently posted to the Joint Personnel Support Unit Edmonton and awaiting medical release due to disabilities attributable to his military service. Mark served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. He wears the Canadian Forces Decoration with one clasp to indicate over 22 years of good service. During his service, Mark was awarded decorations for service in peacekeeping missions including:

– The UN Forces in Cyprus 1990;
– The NATO Stabilization Force Bosnia, 1997; and
– The Canadian Forces Peacekeeping Services Medal.

In addition, as a result of his 2002 Afghanistan tour he received the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the US Army Bronze Star and the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation awarded to the Third Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Finally, as a result of injuries sustained
in his 2008 tour, he received the Sacrifice Medal. He was subsequently awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his veterans advocacy efforts. Prior to his final tour, Mark was in excellent physical condition for his age and occupation, having sought prior medical treatment only for the sports-type injuries and cumulative wear and tear typically associated with his profession. He enjoyed an active lifestyle featuring a broad range of outdoor activities, including daily fitness training, running, family hiking and biking and hunting. He was married in 1989 and has two teenage children. Mark was an active family man. During his second tour in 2008, Mark was deployed as the Senior Mentor to an Afghan National Army battalion in order to provide training during combat operations.

On or about June 2, 2008 Mark was targeted by an IED as the Taliban’s open-fire signal for a three-sided ambush. The explosion blew off both of Mark’s legs above the knee and caused extensive injury. He lost a testicle and received numerous lacerations to his remaining genitalia. He also suffered abdominal scarring and a ruptured right ear drum. After the explosion, an intense gun battle broke out. Mark was evacuated by stretcher – under fire, over extremely rugged terrain – for approximately 90 minutes. This was followed by a 25 minute helicopter flight to the Field Surgical Hospital at the Kandahar Airfield. He was conscious, lucid and received no pain medication during the evacuation due to his dangerously low blood pressure. Mark was rushed into emergency surgery on arrival at the Kandahar Airfield. He was in critical condition and had to be resuscitated on the operating table. Following surgery, Mark was placed in an induced coma for intubation required because of blastdamage to his lungs. Once his condition had stabilized several days later, Mark was transferred to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

He spent approximately one week in the Intensive Care Unit and one week in a Recovery Ward while his lungs regenerated sufficient oxygen capacity for a medical evacuation flight to Canada. Mark was subsequently flown to the University of Alberta Hospital where he stayed for approximately two months while undergoing surgeries. Two weeks after his final surgery, Mark was transferred to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital in Edmonton for physical rehabilitation. He was discharged from the hospital on September 30, 2008 but continues to undergo several out-patient treatments a week for treatment of injuries sustained as a result of the blast. Mark is now confined to a wheelchair and his medical needs are ongoing. He required revision surgery to his remaining genitalia to correct complications arriving from his injuries. Mark’s ruptured ear drum caused a significant deterioration of hearing in his right ear. The ear subsequently leaked cranial fluid. He required significant skin grafts to thighs, which now require special care and protection. Mark also
suffers from chronic overheating because of his decreased body surface area.

He continues to suffer significant pain as a result of the traumatic amputation of his legs. He experiences chronic mechanical and neuropathic pain (phantom limb) – even when he takes pain medication. Without medication, the pain is intolerable. Both of his legs have developed extremely painful and pressure sensitive bundles of severed nerves (known as neuromas) that follow traumatic injury. The sensitivity of those areas combined with excess tissue that folds and pinches significantly limits Mark’s use of his residual stumps for normal daily activities. To manage his pain, Mark must take high dosages of painkillers and nerve blockers including Methadone, Lyrica and Cymbalta. He has developed a dependence on these medications and must carefully administer dosages three times a day. The potential harm to Mark’s internal organs caused by high dosages of these drugs is also of significant concern. In addition to the primary injuries sustained in the IED explosion, Mark has struggled to cope with the side effects and follow-on conditions arising from his medical procedures and medications including but not limited to:

– cataracts in his eyes caused by the steroids used between surgeries to reduce swelling, which were subsequently removed but created a need for corrective eyewear;

– excess tissue growth attributable to medications on his chest and both legs which was surgically removed but may require further surgical removal;
– bladder control and urinary tract problems arising from prolonged catheter use; and
– chronic constipation from Methadone use that must be managed with prescription drugs.

A brain map has confirmed that Mark sustained an indeterminate degree of brain injury. Mark is unfortunately fully cognizant of the fact that he has a diminished mental capacity for routine tasks such as vocabulary recall and mental mathematics. He has presented numerous symptoms of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) including but not limited to short-term memory loss, difficulty with routine problem analysis, difficulty focussing on one task and reduced concentration. Mark experienced severe mental health injuries initially stemming from his physical injuries but more recently and predominantly due to his perceived betrayal and abandonment by the Canadian Forces, VAC and the Federal Government. He was formally diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD on August 15, 2012 although his Canadian Forces medical file details much earlier indications of mental health struggles documented by mental health caregivers at the Edmonton Garrison Clinic. To help him to cope with his psychological injuries, Mark was prescribed and began taking high dosages of the anti-depressant Cymbalta in 2008 and commenced using the complimentary anti-depressant Wellbutrin in August 2012.

He sees a civilian psychologist and a Canadian Forces-contracted civilian therapist on a weekly basis with access to a Canadian Forces Psychiatrist as required for matters related primarily to anti-depression medications. Mark has trouble sleeping as a result of his physical and mental injuries. His wife indicates that he frequently shouts and lashes out while sleeping. On occasion he lashes out in his sleep and accidentally strikes his wife. He has also experienced problems with alcohol as a result of his injuries. Prior to his first tour in Afghanistan in 2002 mark drank alcohol only in social settings. Following his return to Canada Mark’s drinking increased but tapered off to abstinence during the latter stages of his 2007 predeployment
training. Following the injuries sustained on his 2008 tour he began to drink heavily as a method of coping and self-medication. His medications were not yet stabilized and alcohol was the only relief from phantom limb pain that would allow him sleep. In mid-2010 Mark was drinking alcohol nearly constantly.

Blood-work and an ultrasound revealed marked fatty tissue infiltration of his liver indicating the onset of liver disease. He sought professional assistance for his alcohol addiction in late 2010 and attended 10 weeks of residential treatment in early 2011. He is in active recovery from his alcohol dependence and continues to monitor his liver damage. Mark’s injuries have had a devastating effect on his family. In addition, the loss of a testicle, low testosterone, genital scarring and a negative body image have caused Mark to completely lose his libido. He has lost the close marital intimacy he previously shared with his wife of 23 years. Mark continues to receive treatment for the physical and psychological injuries sustained in the IED attack. His most recent surgery was completed in October 2012 and he will require further surgeries. On or about July 22, 2008 Mark received letters from VAC assessing his disability at 104% and awarding him a lump sum payment of $260,843.84 for the injuries to his legs. VAC awarded this amount based on the following breakdown:

– loss of the right leg (through knee) – 52%
– loss of the left leg (through knee) – 52%

This initial disability assessment was based on incorrect information that Mark’s amputations occurred through the knee rather than above the knee. On or about August 19, 2008 VAC corrected this error and increased the disability assessment for each leg to 76% resulting in a total disability rating of 152%.
However, this increase did not affect the award made to Mark because it already exceeded the $250,000 maximum for compensation of pain and suffering. Mark currently has no established VAC Entitlements for the other major injuries and sequela sustained as a result of the June 2008 injuries. It is necessary to these injuries without substantiation or delay. However, the financial claims mad for these injuries will be meaningless as Mark has already maxed out the compensation available for pain and suffering.

Since his 2008 injury Mark has received $100 a month from Veterans Independence Program to assist in paying for cleaning and home maintenance. Since 2001 he has also received approximately $150 – $170 monthly as a VAC Clothing Allowance. Mark has been medically released from the Canadian Forces and upon his release Mark was expected to receive approximately a taxable monthly payments totaling $10.787.50 from VAC:
– approximately $5,208.33 from a 25 year military annuity based on 50% of his earnings during his best five years;
– approximately $2,604.17 in Earnings Loss Benefits which represents 75% of his salary at the time of release indexed to inflation but reduced to account for the annuity payment;
– approximately $1,028.00 as a Permanent Impairment Allowance Supplement (PIAS) available because Mark is entirely unable to work;
– approximately $170 a month as a VAC Clothing Allowance; and
– approximately $100 a month from the Veterans Independence Program (VIP)
On release Mark was in a position of net earnings loss. The amount of the VAC payments exceeds Mark’s military pay but of the payments detailed above, only the annuity and the ELB are considered earnings replacement. The PIA, PIAS, Clothing Allowance and VIP benefits are intended to help off-set the additional costs associated with a severe disability. In other words, $2,975.00 of Mark’s expected monthly income cannot be considered “earnings replacement”. Mark suffered a catastrophic injury that ended his upwards career as a senior decorated Canadian Forces Member. As a result of his service injuries, he is assessed as being “permanently and severely impaired”, with no expectation of transition to gainful civilian employment. He is incapable of earning a gainful income and will most certainly suffer financial distress in the future as family needs far exceed their reduced means.

Daniel Christopher Scott

Dan and the other member, who was also critically injured were the first soldiers to be airlifted by helicopter from the training range to Kandahar for emergency medical treatment. Photograph taken by Afghan War correspondent Michael Yon. Full Story: http://www.michaelyon-online.com/whispers/Page-2.htm

Resides in BC and represent similarly situated residents in BC
– Claims arising from non-combat Injuries incurred while on reserve service
– Arising from in service injuries as a result of a tort of a servant of the crown in right of Canada for which there is various liability on the crown in right of Canada

* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents. Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts.

Dan Scott was a 26 year old reservist with the rank of Bombardier who served with the 15th Field Artillery Regiment based in Vancouver, BC and resides in Surrey. He joined the 15th Field Artillery Regiment in 2003 when he was 17 years old. Dan served 2 tours of duty in Afghanistan on Class C Reserve Force contract agreements. Prior to his tours in Afghanistan, Dan was a college student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey BC. He intended on furthering his education with a post-graduation career objective to either join a police departments or to become involved in an outdoor guiding business, eventually working towards a business interest in a guiding company. Dan had undergone training and attended career familiarization sessions with police.

Prior to his tours of duty, Dan was in excellent physical and mental health and was an avid hiker, skier, rock and ice climber.
On or about February 10, 2010 while serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, Dan was required to attend a training session at the Kankala Range, Daman District, Kandahar Afghanistan, Operation Athena. His platoon was required to attend this training session following fellow Canadian soldiers falling victim to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) strike on December 30, 2009 which killed four Canadian soldiers as well as a Canadian journalist Michelle Lang, and left five other Canadian soldiers seriously wounded. During the training session on February 10, 2010, C19 Defensive Command Detonated Weapons (claymore mines) were discharged as part of the training. As a result of negligence of the Canadian Forces personnel conducting the training, the training range had been se-up and was being operated improperly, with the result that a C19 mine exploded at close range when the
platoon members were not under cover or withdrawn from the danger area.

Immediately after the C19 mine exploded, Dan began to move to a position of cover behind an armoured vehicle and while doing so stopped to warn another member of his platoon to take cover. At that moment a second C19 mine exploded and metal balls from the mine travelled in the wrong direction
towards the attending soldiers rather than the correct direction away from the soldiers. As a result of the negligently detonated C19 mine both Dan and the other member he was attempting to assist were critically injured. Three other soldiers were less seriously injured.
As a result of the incident, Canadian Forces court-martial charges have been preferred against two officers in command of the exercise and the warrant officer who detonated the mine. Dan was hit with numerous of the mine’s metal balls, one of which went through his body armour and through his chest. Dan’s left rib was fractured, his left lung was collapsed and his kidney, spleen and pancreas were damaged. Dan and the other member, who was also critically injured were the first soldiers to be airlifted by helicopter from the training range to Kandahar for emergency medical treatment. Dan was
conscious for the flight during which he held his friend’s hand. Dan made it alive to Kandahar; his friend did not.
* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents.

Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts. At the Kandahar Air Field, Role 3 Hospital, Dan underwent emergency surgery. An 11 inch incision was made in Dan’s stomach and the surgeons removed his left kidney, his spleen and the tail of his pancreas. Dan lost 1.5 litres of blood and his life was in danger for blood loss. Dan was listed by the medical authorities as “very seriously injured” which is the final category of trauma before death. He had tubes into his chest to deal with his lung injury and tubes into his stomach to deal with toxic fluids leaking from the remaining portion of his pancreas.

Dan was transported by air with an American Critical Transport Team to the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. He was then transported by air to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Ramstein, Germany. In Germany he underwent additional operations and his abdomen was
eventually closed up. On or about February 26, 2010, two weeks after the injury, Dan began to experience pancreatic burn as a result of enzymes that were leaking into his abdomen, a potentially serious condition.

Dan underwent and oral scope to implant a shunt to assist with drainage, however the doctors were unable to complete the surgery at that time. On or about March 1 2010 the surgery to implant the shunt proceeded. The following day VGH discharged Dan into the care of his parents. He still had drainage tubes in his abdomen and continued to experience a lot of pain and as a result, on or about March 4, 2010 he was readmitted at VGH. Tests determined that he had an abdominal staph infection caused by staphylococcus aureus bacteria, requiring another lengthy hospital stay.

In or around April 2010 Dan was given 6 weeks sick leave and then was required to start a return to work program. His request for stress leave was denied. Following the February 12, 2010 IED blast a Canadian Forces Board of inquiry was convened and reported to the Federal Government on the incident. Three Canadian Forces members have been charged with unlawfully causing harm and negligent performance of their military duty in
regard to Dan’s injuries. Two of the accused have been charged with manslaughter in the death of Dan’s comrade in arms.

In or around May 2010 Dan made a claim to Veteran Affairs Canada (VAC) for the injuries he sustained during the February 12, 2010 IED blast, including but not limited to:
– Loss of spleen (surgically removed);
– Left pneumothorax;
– Fractured left 12th rib;
– Gastric ulcer;
– Damaged pancreas (portion removed);
– Loss of left kidney (surgically removed); and
– Reduced quality of life, including stress, pain and suffering
On or about July 5, 2010 Dan received a letter from VAC assessing his disability at 15% and awarding him a $41,411.96 lump sum payment I lieu of a disability pension for his injuries. VAC awarded this amount based on the following breakdown:
– Laceration of the left kidney – 15% comprised of:
– a medical impairment rating of – 12;
– and a quality of life rating of – 3;
– Laceration of the spleen – 0%
– Left pneumothorax – 0%
– Fractured left 12the rib – 0%
– Gastric ulcer – 0%; and
– Laceration of the pancreas – un-assessed.
The assessment letter stated that because the laceration to the pancreas was not yet stable, VAC was unable to assess the extent of Dan’s disability at that time. Therefore, this settlement may be readjusted if, for example, his damaged pancreas leads to diabetes. Otherwise this is the full and final payment.

The amounts awarded to Dan are an inadequate reflection of his pain and suffering, and in addition or in the alternative, these amounts do not adequately take into account the loss of earning capacity Dan has sustained and will sustain, nor do they account for any of the other typical heads of damages that he would have been awarded by a Court in a civil claim in the future. Upon return to Canada, Dan was employed at his Canadian Forces home unit as part of a return to work program until he recovered from his injuries. Once he recovered, he was released from Class C service back to Class A reservist status, as a result of which his pay has been cut to one half day a week. The Canadian Forces have failed to accommodate Dan with alternative employment. His ability to find alternative suitable employment on his own has been negatively affected by his disabilities, especially in his originally planned career opportunities. As a result of his injuries he is less capable of earning an income and will continue to suffer income loss in the future.

Aaron Michael Bedard

Combat Injured on Military Operation

Severely disabled who needs care for the rest of his life

The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents. Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts.

Aaron Bedard was 39 years old and resides in Chilliwack BC. He is a former combat engineer in the position of recon driver who served with the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. Aaron joined the Canadian forces at the age of 28. He served eight years with the Canadian Forces
including one tour of duty in Afghanistan. Prior to his tour in Afghanistan, Aaron was in excellent physical and mental health. He enjoyed an active lifestyle including long distance running, skiing, surfing, scuba diving and intermediate mountaineering.
On or about April 19, 2006 while serving as part of Operation Archer Task Force Orion, Aaron sustained a TBI and whiplash when an anti-tank mine was triggered by an armoured vehicle he and his fellow soldiers were travelling in. The explosion permanently rendered the other five soldiers unfit for combat
operations. Apart from Aaron, all of the occupants of that armoured vehicle had to be evacuated by helicopter. As a result of the explosion, Aaron experienced severe constant headaches and whiplash. However, not wanting to abandon his mission, Aaron chose to remain in Afghanistan and continued to serve for the rest of his tour despite his injuries. Aaron experienced two more events involving explosions of lesser intensity in July and August 2006.
During Aaron’s tour in Afghanistan, the Canadian Forces and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) suffered a high number of casualties. In addition, several of the Afghan soldiers, including ones whom he and his battle group had mentored and fought alongside, were killed in action. Aaron’s Battle Group was awarded the Commander-in-Chief Unit Commendation for their efforts. This is the highest commendation a unit can receive in Canada. After the initial injury in April 2006, Aaron came to rely on heavy doses of painkillers to manage the pain in his neck and back for the remainder of this tour. Aaron returned from his tour in August 2006.
* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents.

Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts. In or around November 2006, Aaron was ordered by his immediate commanders to have his neck and head examined. Doctors diagnosed Aaron as having sustained a TBI. He began taking Gabapentin for his TBI and neck/back injury in December 2006, eight months after the injury occurred. In or around August 2007, one year after returning from Afghanistan, Aaron was deemed unfit for duty. In the period leading up to August 2007, in addition to taking painkillers for his neck and back and medication for his TBI, he began relying heavily on alcohol as a mechanism for coping with both the psychological and physical
trauma related to his tour. Aaron was diagnosed with PTSD in the fall of 2007 and was medically released on March 12, 2010.
Aaron did not cope well with the realization that his intended career was terminated by the Canadian Forces. He found it difficult to blend back into civilian society. He began to increasingly suffer from feelings of uselessness and isolation. He isolated himself and increasingly turned to alcohol. Soon, he
began contemplating taking his own life. Within months of returning to his hometown of Coquitlam BC, Aaron consumed alcohol and contemplated suicide daily. Since 2007, Aaron has been receiving weekly treatment from three mental health professionals.
In or around 2008, Aaron made a claim to VAC for the injuries he sustained during his tour, including but not limited to:
– TBI;
– neck injury;
– back injury; and
– PTSD.
In early 2009, Aaron received a letter from VAC assessing his disability at 75% and awarding him a $199,764.90 lump sum payment for his injuries. VAC awarded this amount based on the following breakdown:

– Chronic cervical strain – 5%;
– PTSD – 54%; and
– cervicogenic headaches (tentative diagnosis) – 16%
The amounts awarded to Aaron are an inadequate reflection of his pain and suffering and in addition or in the alternative, these amounts inadequately account for the loss of earning capacity Aaron has sustained and will sustain, nor do they account for any of the other typical heads of damages that he would have been awarded by a Court in any civil claim. In addition, Aaron receives $42,915 per year in long-term disability until the age of 65 under Service Income Security Insurance Plan (“SISIP”). As a result of his injuries, however, Aaron has been left with permanent medical impairment and he continues to endure pain and suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life. As a result of the permanency of his injuries, he will continue to require care in the future.

Upon return to Canada in 2006, Aaron was employed at his Canadian Forces home unit as part of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment. In August 2007 he was removed from active duty and placed on sick leave. He attempted to return to his home unity again in March 2008 but after three months was placed in the Joint Personal Support Unit until his release in March 2010. The Canadian Forces have failed to accommodate Aaron with alternative employment. His ability to find alternative suitable employment on his own has been negatively affected by his disabilities. As a result of his injuries he is less capable of earning an income and will continue to suffer income loss in the future.

Kevin Albert Matthew Berry

* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents. Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts.

Kevin Berry was 29 years old and lives in Port Moody, BC. He served in the Canadian Forces from September 7, 2001 until September 12, 2004 when he was honourably discharged at the end of his three year basic enlistment in the Army. Kevin served in the 3rd Battalion, the Canadian Regiment as a light
machine gunner. He served in Afghanistan from August 12, 2003 until February 13, 2004 as part of Operation Athena in Kabul. He turned 20 years old less than 4 weeks before his Battalion was deployed overseas. During his tour in Afghanistan Kevin’s unit suffered three Killed in Action (KIA) and suffered several seriously wounded. During an emergency dismount from an Iltis Jeep while on an otherwise routine patrol, Kevin tore the meniscus in both his knees and strained both his MCLs. As a result of his injuries, Kevin was instructed by the Unit Medical Officer to cease patrolling. However, due to high operational tempo and the permanent shortage of personnel resulting from a mandated 25% leave policy, it was necessary for Kevin to continue his duties. Kevin was required to patrol the streets of Kabul in knee braces carrying 15 kilograms of mission-critical equipment and supplies, 30 kilograms of body armour, fighting order, 1000 rounds of ammunition, radios and other equipment. As a result of Kevin’s duties, there was long-term damage done to his knees including but not limited to patella-femoral pain syndrome and osteo-arthritis. In addition, Kevin suffered from tinnitus in his ears.
Kevin received a pension from VAC under the Pension Act as his claim for his injuries was mad prior to the enactment of the New Veterans Charter in 2006. He receives a monthly pension of $636.87 based on his percentage of disability, pain and suffering. This amount will be paid monthly for live and is tax free. The amount will increase if Kevin marries and with each child his marriage produces. Unfortunately, Kevin’s injuries were not limited to physical ones. In or around 2005 he began to notice that he was having psychological issues. He spoke to a psychologist who suggested that he may have PTSD.
However, because Kevin was applying to become a police officer at the time he did not seek treatment for.

* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents. Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts.
Fear that a diagnosis of PTSD would affect his future employment. By 2009. however, Kevin began to have sever panic attacks and flashbacks.

After his return from Afghanistan in 2004 Kevin began to abuse alcohol, something he had no history of doing. On or about May 9, 2011, Kevin’s difficulties led him to enter a substance treatment facility. On or about June 22, 2010, Kevin’s psychologist, Dr. Hearn, by way of letter to VAC diagnosed Kevin with PTSD, Chronic Major Depressive Episode, alcohol dependence, panic disorder and agoraphobia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In and around the fall of 2009, Kevin attempted to make contact with VAC regarding his PTSD. Despite several attempts to receive assistance form VAC, Kevin was not seen by a counsellor until March 2010. By this point Kevin’s life had unravelled considerably as his symptoms were affecting his relationships and ability to work and function. As a result of his symptoms, Kevin quit his job on May 21, 2010 and he has not worked since.
Kevin is on a 5 year term for the Earnings Loss Benefits program for veterans who cannot work due to disability. Prior to Bill C55 becoming law, Kevin received $3,124.92 a month to live on prior to claw backs, discussed below. This amount represents 75% of his salary as a Private in 2004 indexed to 2012.
The Earnings Loss Benefits Program does not include a Cost of Living Allowance for personnel living in major cities. Since 2004 Kevin has been receiving a pension of $636.87 a month under the Pension Act for the injury to his knees and ears. However, this amount is subtracted from his Earnings Loss Benefits so he receives $2,488.05 a month under the Earnings Loss Benefits and $636.97 under the Pension Act. The government has made indications that it may cease this practice of clawing back however as at the time of filing, this practice has continued. The amount of Kevin’s Earnings Loss Benefits will be further scaled back if he gains an income from any other source.

With respect to Kevin’s lump sum payment under the New Veterans Charter, Kevin began his paperwork for his claim for PTSD following his meeting with VAC in March 2010. On or about December 13, 2010 Kevin received correspondence from VAC advising him that because his condition had not yet stabilized, they would be granting him an initial minimum assessment of 10% and awarding him a lump sum payment of $27,607.97. Kevin was informed that his VAC District Office would contact him in six months, June 2011, to arrange a medical exam or to obtain further information from his doctor or health care professional.
On or about April 30, 2012 Kevin received $56,661.68 as his second and final lump sum settlement from VAC for his PTSD. Kevin has been reassessed at 28% disability comprised of:

– a medical impairment rating of 25; and
– a quality of life rating of 3, effective April 19, 2012.
There were numerous delays in processing Kevin’s lump sum payments and as a result Kevin incurred significant debt while waiting for these payments. Kevin owed $26,545.65 in debt and paid this debt with funds from his lump sums. As a result of this and other expenses that arose as a result of his injuries, Kevin is now left with less than $10,000 from his lump sum payments. Kevin completed his term of service in 2004. Now, eight years later, he is unable to work and while he is attempting to gain an education, he has had to scale back his course load to two courses as a result of the effects of his PTSD.
Kevin was awarded approximately $85,000 under the New Veterans Charter for all losses arising from the PTSD he suffers as a result of his service, all of which was carried out before the New Veterans Charter’s enactment. The amounts awarded to Kevin are an inadequate reflection of his pain and suffering and in addition or in the alternative, these amounts inadequately account for the loss of earning capacity Kevin has sustained and will sustain nor do they account for any of the other typical heads of damages that he would have been awarded by a Court in and civil claim.

Bradley Darren Quast

Members not resident in BC

Issue
– New Veterans Charter

* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents. Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts.

Bradley Quast is a 23 year old reservist in the Canadian Forces. He holds the rank of Corporal in the South Alberta Light Horse Regiment. He joined the Canadian Forces in 2007. On or about 2009 Brad served a tour of duty in Afghanistan on a Class C contract. He wears a Sacrifice Medal in recognition of injuries sustained during his service in Afghanistan.

Brad had aspirations to become a police officer and SWAT team member with the Calgary Police Service. Prior to his deployment to Afghanistan, he was a student at Medicine Hat College enrolled in the Police and Security Diploma Program. He had completed one and a half years of the two year program and planned to complete the program on his return from Afghanistan. Prior to his deployment, Brad was physically active. He enjoyed playing sports such as baseball, football, fencing and paintball.

On or about December 30, 2009, Brad and his platoon were deployed on a light armoured patrol in Kandahar City. As the vehicles were returning to base, Brad was sitting in the body of a light armoured vehicle (LAV) with members of his platoon, a civilian journalist and a civilian from Canadian International Development Agency. The LAV was suddenly hit with a powerful explosion from a IED. The 20 tonne vehicle was thrown into the air and landed upside down in multiple pieces. Brad was extremely disoriented following the blast. People were screaming and Brad saw injured and dying comrades strewn about the blast site. The explosion killed four soldiers as well as journalist Michelle Lang and left five others, including Brad, seriously wounded. Brad felt intense pain and rapid swelling in his right foot. He forced off his right boot to make way for the swelling and could see bones sticking out of his skin. Brad sustained extensive physical injuries in the blast. His injuries included but are not limited to a tibia/fibula fracture in his right leg, multiple fractures in his right foot, a fractured and dislocated right ankle and a lower back strain.

Following the explosion, Brad was airlifted to the Role 3 hospital at the Kandahar Airfield where he underwent surgery to attach and external fixator to his right foot. Soon after that surgery, he was airlifted to Bagram airbase where he underwent another surgery on his right leg. The following day Brad was airlifted to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Centre in Germany. He stayed there for approximately one week and underwent multiple surgeries to his right leg. On or about January 8, 2010, Brad was flown from Germany to Edmonton where he was admitted into the University Of Alberta Hospital. He underwent multiple surgeries to reconstruct his right foot while at the University of Alberta Hospital. In order to close the wounds, donor skin was taken
from Brad’s right thigh for multiple grafts on his right foot.

On or about January 20, 2010, Brad was released from the University of Alberta Hospital and went to stay with his parents in Medicine Hat Alberta. He was confined to a wheelchair until April 2010 while his right leg and foot recovered. In or around April 2010, Brad was posted to the Joint Personnel Support Unit. He moved to Edmonton to be closer to the unit so that he could receive supports from the Canadian Forces and military doctors. Brad began physiotherapy and rehabilitation programs at CFB Edmonton around April 2010 and continued participating in these programs until approximately April 2011. He underwent another surgery to his right foot on or about August 3, 2011. The purpose of this surgery – a tarsometatarsal fusion – was to fuse a joint in his mid-foot and it involved taking a bone graft from his pelvis. Following the surgery, Brad underwent several months of
physiotherapy. Brad underwent additional surgery to his right foot in the spring of 2013 in order to perform another tarsometatarsal fusion and remove a broken screw.

As a consequence of the blast, Brad experiences a number of sequlae, including but not limited to tinnitus and patellofemoral syndrome in both of his knees. He suffers from daily pain in his right leg and foot. His ankle and midfoot ache throughout day to day activities. Brad sometimes takes over-the-counter pain medication but this provides only temporary relief. He also experiences arthritis in the joints located in his right midfoot. He is unable to spend more than a half hour on his feet without taking a break. In or around June 2010, Brad began seeing a psychologist at CFB Edmonton. He was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder.

In January 2012, Brad enrolled at Grant MacEwan University in the Police and Investigations Diploma Program. He aspires to complete the diploma and pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. However, as a consequence of his injuries, Brad may never be able to meet the physical requirements to become a police officer. He is currently serving in the Canadian Forces on a Class C contract and is designated to be in the Permanent Medical Category. He has been informed that he will be medically released from the Canadian Forces but he does not have a release date. In early 2010, Brad made applications to VAC for disability awards for his injuries. On or about June 29, 2010 Brad received a letter from VAC detailing its initial assessment of his injuries and awarding him a $55,215.94 lump sum payment for his injuries in lieu of a disability pension.

VAC awarded this amount based on the following breakdown:
– fractured right tibia – 5% comprised of:
– a medical impairment rating of 3; and
– a quality of life rating of 2;
– fractured right fibula – 5% comprised of:
– a medical impairment rating of 3; and
– a quality of life rating of 2;
– fractures to cuneiforms in right foot – 3% comprised of:
– a medical impairment rating of 1; and
– a quality of life rating of 2;
– fractures and dislocations to metatarsals in right foot – 3% comprised of:
– a medical impairment rating of 1; and
– a quality of life rating of 2;
– skin graft to right foot – 2% comprised of:
– a medial impairment rating of 1; and
– a quality of life rating of 1.

As his injuries were not yet stable, VAC stated that it could not yet assess the total extent of Brad’s disability. In early 2011, Brad made additional applications to VAC for disability awards patellofemoral syndrome in both knees, PTSD, and Major Depressive Disorder. On or about April 4, 2011, Brad received a letter updating his injury assessment and awarding him an additional lump sum payment of $42,797.92. VAC awarded this amount based on the following breakdown:

– all injuries to right foot – 17% comprised of:
– a medical impairment rating of 15; and
– a quality of life rating of 2;
– tinnitus – 6% comprised of:
– a medical impairment rating of 5; and
– a quality of life rating of 1.

VAC initially declined to make an award for Brad’s psychological injuries as they were not disclosed in his service record. Brad reapplied for disability benefits for PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder around September 2011. In or around May 2012, VAC awarded Brad a lump sum payment in the amount of $102,657.94 as compensation for his PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder. VAC has not yet provided an assessment letter detailing its process for arriving at the amount of the award. Additionally, Brad must participate in additional assessments to the injuries to his right foot as VAC is not satisfied that it has enough information to determine the total extent of his disability.

Gavin Michael David Flett

– Resides in BC and represent similarly situated residents in BC
– Claims arising from non-combat Injuries incurred while on reserve service

* The following describes the circumstances of the representative plaintiff at the time of filing court documents. Although, changes have occurred to the stated benefits, the current legal proceedings are based on these facts.

Gavin Flett was a 37 year old reservist in the Canadian Forces. He held the rank of Master Corporal in the 39th Brigade Group. He joined the Canadian Forces in 1995. In 2008, Gavin served a tour of duty in Afghanistan on a Class C contract. He wears the General Campaign Star in recognition of his combat role in Afghanistan.

Prior to his tour in Afghanistan, Gavin had aspirations to pursue a career in a uniformed service such as the correctional service, the police service, the sheriff’s department or in the fire department. Gavin was highly athletic; in his spare time he enjoyed running, climbing, hiking and other recreational sports. Prior to his deployment, Gavin was in peak physical condition and had no trouble completing the Army Fitness Training program.

On August 24, 2008, while serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Gavin was required to fortify an Afghan National Army combat outpost in Ashakay. He was clearing out trees and brush to increase a field of fire between the outpost and the tree line. While engaged in falling trees, one fell in an unintended direction and landed on Gavin. Thankfully the main trunk of the tree missed Gavin by a few inches but a main branch landed on him as he attempted to crawl to safety. As a result of the tree falling on him, Gavin sustained injuries in the form of a broken left femur and smashed right talus (ankle). His right talus bone was fractured into several pieces; too many to count on the X-rays.

Gavin was airlifted out of Ashakay as a priority Alpha (life threatening injuries) and sent to Kandahar Airfield. His femur was operated on immediately in Roll 3 hospital on the Kandahar Airfield Base. The fracture was repaired by an external fixator, secured to his left femur through four incisions made into his left thigh. His talus was put into a cast to be operated on at a later date. Gavin’s femur was again operated on in Germany by removing the external fixator and drilling out bone marrow to insert a titanium rod throughout the entire length of his femur. The rod is secured by two bolts, one in the top near Gavin’s hip and one in the bottom near his knee. The injury to the muscle tissue in his left leg has left it weakened and with some nerve damage.
This injury is aggravated during cold and wet weather conditions.

Following his operation in Germany, Gavin was sent to VGH in Canada for surgery on his talus. The operation repaired Gavin’s talus using approximately 10-12 pins. It left him in a wheelchair for six weeks, crutches for another eight weeks and a cane for several months afterward. He initially underwent physical therapy for approximately 8 months until reaching a plateau where no further progress was made.

In or around April 2009, Gavin made a claim to VAC for the injuries he sustained on August 2008 including his:
– Left femur fracture; and
– Right talus fracture.

On or about July 9 2009 Gavin received a letter from VAC assessing his total disability at 5% and awarding him a $13,368.25 lump sum payment in lieu of a disability pension for his injuries. VAC awarded this amount based on the following breakdown:
– Right talus fracture – 5% comprised of:
– A medical impairment rating of 4;
– And a quality of life rating of 1; and
– Left femur fracture (Operated) – 0%

The assessment letter stated that although he was not eligible to receive an award for his left femur fracture, he was entitled to receive medical treatment for the condition. On or about July 20 2009 Gavin sought a review of the above assessment. In addition, in April of 2009 Gavin made a claim for Post-
Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) he suffered as a result of his service. On or about November 19 2009 Gavin received correspondence from VAC explaining that they were in the process of gathering information to finalize his assessment but in the meantime awarding him an initial 10% disability
assessment and lump sum payment of $26,736.49. As with other veterans with similar claims, VAC stated that because Gavin’s PTSD was not yet stable, they could not assess the total extent of his disability at that time. Gavin was informed that his VAC district office would contact him in five months to arrange a medical exam or to obtain further information from his doctor or health care professional.

On November 17, 2010 Gavin received $82,823.91 as his second and final lump sum settlement from VAC for his PTSD. His total disability has been reassessed at 39% comprised of:
– A medical impairment rating of 35; and
– A quality of life rating of 4,
Effective November 2, 2010.

The hearing of Gavin’s appeal regarding his 5% disability rating for his right talus fracture was held on November 1, 2011. The decision, dated November 21, 2011 awarded Gavin a 6% disability effective November 1, 2011; a 1% increase. As is the standard to round to the nearest 5%, the increase was
subsequently rounded back down to 5%. Despite the evidence led by Gavin of his extremely limited mobility to the extent that he is only able to walk one or two blocks, has difficulty with stairs and has a significantly painful ankle that is frequently swollen, the Review and Appeal Board (the “Board”) concluded that the evidence showed that he has “essentially normal range of motion, but with pain now present on a daily basis and/or with movement”.

This attracted a Medical Impairment rating of 4% under Table 17.12. However, in light of Gavin’s evidence that he has difficulties with household and
domestic activities, is unable to work in his normal occupation and is no longer able to participate in previously enjoyed social activities with his friends, the Board determined that he “suffered moderate limitations, reduction and interference with his usual and accustomed activities of independent living, recreational and community activities and/or personal relationships”, and therefore his quality of life rating was increased from 1% to 2% for a total
disability rating of 6%. The amounts awarded to Gavin are an inadequate reflection of his pain and suffering and in addition or in the alternative, these amounts inadequately take account for the loss of earning capacity Gavin has sustained and will sustain, nor do they account for any of the other typical heads of damages that he would have been awarded by a Court in any civil claim. No other financial benefits were awarded to Gavin, who can no longer work in the fields that he had planned for. VAC has agreed to provide mobility support to the extent deemed necessary, if and when such support is required.

Gavin currently has limited use of his right ankle and suffers from residual swelling and pain originating from the holes drilled into the bone from the external fixator. This often causes him to take painkillers. Gavin walks with a limp which is amplified following any activity such as light exercise, moderate walking, light housework or yard work. Gavin can no longer walk long distances, run, jump, climb, hike or play any sport that is high impact or involves any kind of lateral motion.

Gavin’s standing with the Canadian Forces was pending a review of his limitations and universality of service. On or about September 19, 2011 Gavin’s full time (Class B) position with the Canadian Forces was terminated. Prior to and in anticipation of the termination of Gavin’s Class B position, the Canadian
Forces Housing Agency (“CFHA”) served Gavin with and eviction notice terminating his residency at a Residential Housing Unit at Jericho Garrison. Gavin challenged the eviction and was permitted to stay in the residence until CFHA’s decision could be revisited. However, during that time of severe stress, Gavin and his wife broke off their marriage. Gavin felt that he would no longer be able to fight the eviction as a change in household size could affect his entitlement to a Residential Housing Unit. He dropped his appeal of the eviction and moved out of his residence on or about July 1, 2012.

Gavin’s ability to pursue a career in correctional, police, sheriff or fire services has been negatively affected by his disabilities. As a result, Gavin is currently putting himself through university without any assistance from VAC. He will have 50% of his tuition fees reimbursed by the Canadian Forces’
Individual Learning Plan program, subject to a maximum of $2,000 annually and $8,000 lifetime limitations. The cost of textbooks is 100% reimbursable through the same program. Gavin is required to pay the costs up front and is not reimbursed until the end of each study period. Consequently, he has
amassed upwards of $10,000 in credit card debt.

In addition, Gavin’s efforts to finance his education have been hampered by the lump sum received from VAC, which he has used to pay for his re-education. His application for disability status with StudentAid BC was declined. He was not eligible for StudentAid BC disability status because the amount of his personal savings did not evidence financial need Gavin’s savings largely consisted of the lump sum he received as compensation for his injuries. Gavin’s education pursued prior to releasing from the Canadian Forces does not match his life and career experience level and is suitable for entry level positions whose salaries are on the poverty line and do not cover the cost of living in his resident city. He has now enrolled in a post-secondary Master’s Degree program to augment the previous education. The current criteria for VAC and SISIP to cover the cost of education for medically released personnel restricts the education to a maximum of 2 years and under $25,000 which limits the options to a certificate level of re-education. Gavin is facing further difficultly with education reimbursement, as his Master’s program exceeds that amount and the re-education program criteria states funds can only be released for a program under the designated maximum amount, if that criteria is not met, zero funds are disbursed.