2002 Annual Report
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- The duties and responsibilities of Fund Counsel are defined
by Section 7.01 of the January 1, 1986 - July 1, 1990 Hepatitis
C Settlement Agreement. These duties and responsibilities
- defending decisions made by the Administrator;
- defending and advancing the interests of the Trust
- receiving financial statements and actuarial and
other reports relating to the financial sufficiency
of the Trust Fund from time to time; and
if deemed necessary or desirable by Fund Counsel, making
applications to courts pursuant to Section 10.01 of
the Settlement Agreement.
- Carolyn Horkins and John Callaghan were appointed as
Fund Counsel for the Ontario Class Actions by Order of the
Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Mason Poplaw was appointed
Fund Counsel for the Quebec Class Actions by Order of the
Quebec Superior Court. William Ferguson was appointed Fund
Counsel for the British Columbia Class Actions by Order
of the British Columbia Supreme Court.
- During the fiscal period of April 1, 2001 through to
March 31, 2002, Fund Counsel was largely handling appeals
instituted by Claimants who had been found ineligible by
the Administrator. The appeals are conducted either as References
or Arbitrations. Appeals can be conducted in writing or
in person. When the appeal is conducted in person, Fund
Counsel attends the hearing, which is held where the claimant
resides. In most every case, the Fund Counsel prepares written
submissions defending the Administrator’s decisions.
The submissions are delivered to the Claimant and the Referee/Arbitrator.
- If the appeal is conducted by way of Reference, the Referee’s
decision must be confirmed by the Court. If confirmation
of the Referee’s decision is opposed by the Claimant,
the Referee’s decision is reviewed by the Court. During
this past year, Fund Counsel has made submissions to the
Court on a number of cases where the Referee’s decision
has been opposed by the Claimant.
- In addition to attending on appeals, the Fund Counsel
handled a number of claims where court approval was necessary
for payments involving minors or a mentally incompetent
- Fund Counsel also receives and reviews financial statements
and other reports relating to the financial sufficiency
of the Trust Fund. They also attend on other day-to-day
issues, which affect the sufficiency of the Trust Fund.
- Below is a report of the activities of each Fund Counsel
in relation to the appeals conducted:
- Ontario Fund Counsel
The Ontario Fund Counsel oversees appeals from Claimants
in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick,
Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Yukon
Territory, The Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
During the fiscal year April 1, 2000 through to March
31, 2002, Ontario Fund Counsel handled 79 appeals
in the above-noted jurisdictions with the exception
of Prince Edward Island and the Territories. Of the
79 appeals, 9 were withdrawn, 17 have been completed
and 53 are pending, many of which have already commenced.
To date, 47 persons have either conducted or are awaiting
in person appeals, many of which have been commenced
but are not completed. Sixteen persons have conducted
or are awaiting in writing appeals. There are 7 appeals,
for which it has yet to be determined whether they
will be conducted in person or in writing. There have
been 7 cases involving References, which have required
Because Ontario Fund Counsel is involved in appeals
from a number of provinces, there is a significant
amount of travel involved in conducting the various
Ontario Fund Counsel incurred fees of $225,263.50
and disbursements of $21,307.81 exclusive of taxes.
With taxes, Ontario Fund Counsel incurred fees of
$305,342.70 and disbursements of $30,037.33 (including
$20,272.11 for travel, hotel and meals).
- Quebec Fund Counsel
During the fiscal period in question, Quebec Fund
Counsel received a total of 21 appeals. Fifteen appeals
have been completed to date and written submissions
have been produced in each case. There were 5 appeals,
which proceeded in writing. There have been 6 decisions
rendered by the Referee and 2 by the Arbitrator. Nine
decisions are pending. Of the remaining 6 appeals,
4 appeals will be conducted in person and 2 will be
conducted in writing.
Quebec Fund Counsel has incurred fees of $166,171.50
and disbursements of $8,407.86. With taxes, the total
amount of fees and disbursements incurred in Quebec
- British Columbia
During the fiscal period in question, B.C. Fund Counsel
received a total of 21 appeals. Four of these appeals
were withdrawn. Thirteen appeals have been completed
to date and written submissions have been produced
in each case. Of the 13 completed appeals, 3 proceeded
by way of an in-person hearing and the remaining 10
proceeded in writing. There have been 5 decisions
rendered by the Referee and 5 by the Arbitrator. Three
decisions are pending. All of the remaining 4 appeals
will proceed by way of in-person hearings.
B.C. Fund Counsel has incurred fees of $225,670.00
and disbursements of $14,775.28 (including 5,683.43
for travel/transportation). With taxes, the total
amount of fees and disbursements incurred in B.C.
- Fund Counsel anticipates that the amount of time spent
on appeals will increase in this fiscal year. In addition,
many of the current appeals involve complicated issues,
which will involve additional expert and witness evidence,
which will increase costs over last year. Accordingly, we
anticipate fees to increase over last year by approximately