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2002 Annual Report

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Schedule U – Referees and Arbitrators

Annual Report 2002

Prepared for:
The Joint Committee of the Hepatitis C 86-90 Trust Fund

Prepared by:
Reva Devins
Associate Chair,
Ontario Roster of Arbitrators and Referees

Duties and Responsibilities of Arbitrators and Referees

  1. Under the terms of the Court approved settlement, Arbitrators and Referees are responsible for determining all appeals brought by claimants seeking review of the decision of the Administrator. An appeal may proceed by Arbitration or Reference, and may be conducted by convening an in person hearing where witnesses give oral testimony, or by a review of written material. Arbitrators and Referees are to conduct their review using the simplest, least expensive and most expeditious procedure.

  2. Upon conclusion of the appeal, the Arbitrator or Referee must release their decision within thirty days of completion of an oral hearing, or within thirty days following receipt of final written submissions. Reasons for Decision are released in writing to the individual claimant and to Fund Counsel representing the Administrator. In all decisions, the Arbitrator or Referee must state the facts and conclusion without identifying the claimant; decisions are then posted on the Website.

    Roster of Arbitrator/Referees

  3. There are currently 16 Court appointed Arbitrator/Referees: one in each of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec, two in Nova Scotia, four in British Columbia, and 7* in Ontario, including a French speaking Arbitrator/Referee who conducts all French language appeals outside of Quebec and British Columbia.

    (*Two other Arbitrator/Referees were appointed by the Superior Court in Ontario, however, as of March 31, 2002 they were no longer able to hear appeals. One Arbitrator/Referee was appointed a Justice of the Superior Court, and another passed away on March 27, 2002.)

    Appeal Activity

  4. The Arbitrators and Referees have received 116 appeals, and rendered their decision in 43 cases. Of the decided appeals there have been 17 Arbitrations, and 26 References, 18 have been concluded after an oral hearing and 25 were completed on the basis of a review of documents and written submissions.

  5. In the vast majority of appeals yet to be determined, a hearing date has been set. In most instances, where hearings have not yet been scheduled, the Arbitrator/Referee is awaiting confirmation from the claimant regarding whether they require an in person hearing, and if so when they would be available to attend. Finally, a number of hearings have been adjourned to permit the claimant to retain counsel or to seek out additional evidence.

  6. The following overview provides a summary of all appeal activity:

    Hearings not yet
    Or Received
    British Columbia 18 3 9 6
    Alberta 6 - 4 2
    Saskatchewan 6 2 2 2
    Manitoba 5 2 1 2
    Ontario 47 5 16 26
    Quebec 21 - 6 15
    New Brunswick 5 - 1 4
    Nova Scotia 7 - 3 4
    PEI - - - -
    Newfoundland 1 - 1 -
    Totals: 116 12 43 61

    *This column includes cases where the decision has not yet been released, where the hearing has yet to be convened, or where the hearing has been commenced but adjourned to allow for the introduction of additional evidence or submissions.

    Financial Activity to March 31, 2002

  7. The fees and expenses incurred by the Arbitrators and Referees are summarized below:

      British Columbia Quebec Ontario
    (including all
    remaining provinces)
    Fees: $45,822.50 $23,855.00 $89,427.50
    Disbursements: $2,132.13 $165.01 $15, 231.14
    Taxes: $5,483.96 $3,609.00 $7,990.13
    TOTALS $53,438.59 $27,629.01 $112,648.77

    Proposed Budget

  8. The number, and complexity of appeals initiated, and pursued, by claimants determines the fiscal needs of Appeal administration. Consequently, absent a reliable predictor of incoming Appeals, the proposed budget for Arbitrators and Referees should be based on expenses, fees, and related expenses incurred in the previous year. We would therefore recommend that the 2002-2003 Budget be set at an amount equal to that actually paid in 2001-2002. Any additional amounts, if required, would be subject to Court approval.