On June 20-22, 2016, Chief Justice Hinkson of the British Columbia Supreme Court, Justice Perell of the Ontario Superior Court and Justice Corriveau of the Cour Superior du Quebec held joint hearings in Toronto, Ontario to consider the applications of the Joint Committee and the federal government about the surplus in the 1986 to 1990 Hepatitis C Settlement Agreement Trust Fund which is estimated to be between $207 million and $256 million as at December 31, 2013.
At the joint hearings, the Courts heard submissions regarding whether the Courts should exercise their discretion to allocate all or a portion of that surplus in accordance with the orders they issued in 1999 approving this settlement and, if so, how it should be allocated.
In summary, the Joint Committee requested that $205 million of the surplus be paid out to benefit Class Members and Family Class Members with specific recommendations on how this should be done; and, that the remaining surplus be retained in the fund. A summary of the Joint Committee’s recommendations to the Courts (which were recently amended) can be found here. The federal government opposed the Joint Committee’s surplus request.
The federal government asked that the entire surplus be paid out to the federal government or be retained in the fund; or, alternatively, that the amount requested to be paid out to the Class Members and Family Class Members be limited. The Joint Committee opposed the federal government’s surplus request.
No province or territory asked to have any part of the surplus paid to it. Each urged the Courts to honour the structure of the settlement agreement and to avoid overcompensation to Class Members and Family Class Members.
In addition to the legal arguments, the Joint Committee summarized for the Courts what was learned during the consultation sessions with Class Members held in Dartmouth, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver as well as the hundreds of written submissions sent to the Joint Committee by Class Members (which were also filed with the Courts). The Joint Committee urged the Courts to read all of the Class Member submissions. In addition, some Class Members attended the hearings on June 20-22 and spoke to the Courts directly. At the conclusion of the hearings on June 20-22, the Courts expressed deep appreciation for the input of the Class Members.
The Courts have “reserved” their decisions. This means that they have not yet made their decisions and will advise in writing of their decisions once they have been made. On factually and legal complicated matters, it is expected that this process will take several months. This website will be updated once the decisions have been received.
Copies of the materials that have been filed with each of the Courts including the written submissions to the Courts from each of the parties can be reviewed by clicking on the links to the applicable province below. This website will be updated to include additional materials that are filed with the Courts as well as the decisions of the Courts and any Orders or directions issued in connection with the joint hearings.