Markle and Horsley v. City of Toronto
Post-Retirement Benefits Class Action
What this class action is about
This class action law suit was filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on behalf of all former management employees of the former Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto who retired from the former Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (or its successor, the City of Toronto) on or after January 1, 1989 but before October 1, 2002 or their surviving spouses.
The lawsuit sought to have certain post-retirement health and medical benefits reinstated – including full prescription coverage in Ontario and coverage for health services received while out of Canada, and damages for expenses incurred when the City terminated those benefits in 2000.
The lawsuit was certified as a class action in July 2004. In October 2004, the class was approved for financial support from the Class Proceedings Fund. The Class Proceedings Fund is a branch of the Law Society of Ontario and was established for the purpose of increasing the financial viability of class actions.
The representative plaintiffs were John Markle and Jack Horsley, who were active members of the Metropolitan Toronto Pensioners’ Association (an association of retired management employees of the former Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto).
May 2007 – This Class Action has been settled
The parties reached a conditional settlement in January 2007, which was subject to the approval of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. In May 2007, the Court approved the settlement, with a few minor variations.
In addition to legal costs, the City paid $120,000 to the plaintiffs to be distributed as follows:
a) a repayment to the Class Proceedings Committee ($37,558.55);
b) partial reimbursement of all individuals who contributed to the funding of the proceeding, on a pro rata basis ($15,000);
c) a “top up” payment to Class Members (but not non-Class Members) who contributed to the funding of the proceeding to reimburse them in full for their contribution ($3,467.93);
d) reimbursement to the 71 Class Members who, prior to February 21, 2007, submitted valid claims incurred prior to December 31, 2006 for drug expenses not covered by the Ontario Drug Benefit Program ($60,367.40); and
e) a further payment, to use up the balance of the $120,000 distributed evenly among the 71 Class Members who submitted those valid claims referred to in paragraph (d) ($3597.28 or $50.66 per claimant).
The settlement also provided for a Health Care Spending Account in the amount of $150 per year to be established for each Class Member (including spouses). The City of Toronto was responsible for contacting all Class Members to give them information about the Health Care Spending Account.