# 2015-197 - Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA), Negligent Misrepresentation

Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA), Negligent Misrepresentation

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–08–18

The grievor contested the reversal of a decision by his former Commanding Officer (CO) that initially granted authorization for Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA) for him, his wife and child to attend a family funeral. The grievor maintained that as a result of the CO's authorization reversal, he experienced financial distress and he sought reimbursement of the cost of the airfare paid to attend the funeral.

The Initial Authority (IA) denied the grievance, finding that in accordance with Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 209.51(3), only a Class B Reservist who is authorized to move their household goods and effects (HG&E) at public expense for that Class B Reserve service is entitled to CTA. As the grievor's employment instruction specified that a move of HG&E was not authorized, he was not eligible for the CTA benefit.

The Committee agreed that, in the absence of any discretion, the grievor was not entitled to CTA as he did not meet the entitlement requirement set out in CBI 209.51(3).

Nonetheless, the Committee found that the grievor was erroneously advised that he was eligible to receive CTA benefits and that this amounted to negligent misrepresentation on the part of the CAF.

The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff acknowledge that the CAF may bear some responsibility for causing the grievor's financial burden and that he refer the case to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation on the grounds of negligent misrepresentation, with his support.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–08–18

The FA partially agreed with the Committee's findings as he did not necessarily agree that the misinformation received by the grievor amounted to negligent misrepresentation, as the conditions third and fourth of the Cognos test were not met. For the third condition, the FA stated that considering his position and role as Administration Officer, it does not appear that the grievor attempted to verify any of the information provided by his clerks regarding his entitlement to CTA. As the grievor's CO exercised reasonable care in relying on the information provided by the grievor's clerks, the FA found that the grievor was “contributorily negligent”. As for the fourth condition, the FA found that it was not reasonable for the grievor to rely on his CO's representations who did not have specialized skills, judgment or knowledge in these matters while the grievor has. For this reason, the FA disagreed with the Committee's recommendation that he pursue the grievor's case with DCCL, on his behalf.

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