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Federal Court approves class-action settlement for disabled Mounties

OTTAWA - The Federal Court has approved a multimillion-dollar class-action settlement for a group of disabled RCMP veterans whose disability payments were clawed back.

The case involved 1,056 Mounties whose long-term disability payments were reduced by the amount of their monthly disability benefits from the Veterans Affairs Department.

The estimated value of the settlement is $70 million. That includes $30.6 million in retroactive payments, $9.1 million in interest on those payments and $30.3 million in future benefits.

The proposed agreement also means the reduction would end for all RCMP veterans now receiving benefits and Mounties who are medically released in the future.

The case was launched in 2008 by Gerard Buote, but was taken over by David White after Buote died from cancer the following year.

One of White's lawyers said he was pleased with Tuesday's decision.

"It ensures that the members of this class receive what they rightly deserve, and we are grateful to Gerry and David for their dedication to this cause," Dan Wallace said in a statement.

The case was almost identical to one that a judge deemed harsh and unfair in a class-action lawsuit by military veterans, who were awarded a $887.8-million settlement after a former army sergeant took the government to court in 2007.

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