Hepatitis :: $1B Hepatitis C Compensation Agreement Completed – Canada

Canada?s New Government is one step closer to finalizing compensation to individuals infected with hepatitis C from the blood system prior to January 1, 1986, and after July 1, 1990.

The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, said today that the federal government and plaintiffs? counsel have concluded the final settlement agreement which will now proceed to the Courts for scrutiny and approval.

?This step marks a milestone in our commitment to get money into the hands of those infected, prior to1986 and after July 1, 1990, as quickly as possible,? said Minister Clement. ?Two steps remain before these people begin to receive compensation payments. The first is to seek approvals of the Courts in British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec and Ontario, where the class actions are filed. The second step is the creation of the administrative structure to receive and to evaluate applications.

?We are working as quickly as possible to provide compensation to the class,? said Minister Clement

The federal government will set aside $1.023 billion (composed of $962 million for compensation, $20 million in administrative costs, $37.29 million in legal fees plus applicable taxes, and $500,000 in disbursements plus applicable taxes) for the pre-1986/post-1990 final settlement agreement, which is based, to the extent possible, on parity with the federal share of compensation for those infected from 1986-1990.

The final settlement agreement sets out the guidelines for providing compensation to the pre-1986/post-1990 class. It expands on the details already provided by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on July 25, 2006, and includes the benefit schedules.

Health Canada and counsel representing the pre-1986/post-1990 class will provide further information as it becomes available. Class members are advised to contact their class counsel for details on the settlement. The information on how to apply will be issued at a later date as it becomes available, and it will be posted as well on the Health Canada Web site.

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