Most veterans support $888 million settlement over pension clawbacks, court told

Associated Press

HALIFAX - A lawyer for veterans who reached a settlement with Ottawa over military pension clawbacks says most of the plaintiffs support the $887.8 million deal.

Dan Wallace told Federal Court Judge Robert Barnes that his law firm received 270 emails from veterans, 233 of which back the arrangement.

Wallace says 78 veterans specifically supported the $66.6 million in legal fees that his firm would earn from the settlement if the court approves it.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay has called those fees "grossly excessive," and the Crown is expected to oppose them during the two-day settlement approval hearing that began today in Halifax.

The settlement was announced last month after veteran Dennis Manuge launched a class-action lawsuit against the federal government in March 2007.

The lawsuit was on behalf of himself and other disabled veterans whose long-term disability benefits were reduced by the amount of the monthly Veterans Affairs disability pensions they received.

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