All 10,000 Stage One Applications Received Have Been Processed, Stage Two Applications Processing Underway
WALKERTON, Ontario, May 31, 2002 — Crawford Adjusters
Canada, the court appointed Administrator of the Walkerton Compensation Plan (the Plan),
issued a status report to the public earlier today. In the release, Crawford Chief
Executive Officer Glenn Gibson commented, “We are pleased with the progress our team
has made evaluating the large number of applications that have been received. The action
plan put in place to evaluate the balance of the applications will ensure all those who
qualify are compensated as fairly and as quickly as possible.” To date over
$22,000,000 has been paid out under the Plan to victims of the tragedy.
The Walkerton Compensation Plan was certified by the
Ontario Superior Court in March 2001 as the Class Action Settlement Agreement for claims
arising from the Walkerton contaminated water crisis of May 2000. The Settlement Agreement
sets out the terms of compensation for those who suffered losses as a result of the
crisis. The Application process involves two stages. The Stage One application is
evaluated to determine if the applicant qualifies as a Class Member, as defined in the
Plan. The majority of those qualifying at this stage are eligible to receive an automatic
payment of $2000. To date, 10,153 Stage One Applications have been received and reviewed.
8,554 class members and family class members have been qualified and of those 7,261 have
been eligible for and received an initial payment. Of the remaining applicants who have
not been approved into the class, 348 have been deemed as not qualified while 1,251 Stage
One applicants have been requested to provide specific additional information so their
Stage One application can be re-assessed.
Any applicants deemed as “not qualified” can
elect to have their claim independently arbitrated under the Plan. There is no cost to the
applicant for the arbitration process. Of the 8,554 approved Class Members, Non-Walkerton
residents comprise well over 20% of the total, approximately twice the number anticipated
at the outset of the Plan.
Once applicants have been accepted as Class Members or
Family Class Members, they are provided with a Stage Two application, allowing them to
apply for compensation for more complex losses or claims in excess of the initial payment
made at Stage One. To date, 4520 Stage Two applications have been received. Over 2000 of
these Stage Two applications were received between August and November 2001. To handle
this influx, Crawford added extra staff and maintained extended office hours. Of the Stage
Two applicants, approximately 1700 have received further compensation. Approximately 400
further Stage Two applicants have been provided with a settlement offer and have yet to respond.
Evaluators are currently working on applications received
in December 2001 and expect to have processed those Stage Two applications received in
2001 within the next 10 days.
The nature of the Stage Two Applications is such that each
one must be assessed individually, a process that takes time to complete fairly and
accurately. While some of the applications contain relatively straightforward loss
information, others, particularly those with claims for ongoing illness are more complex
and cover a wide variety of damage claims and medical information.
Crawford Adjusters Canada is a wholly
owned subsidiary of Crawford & Company (NYSE: CRDA CRDB), the world’s largest
independent provider of diversified services to insurance companies, self-insured
corporations and government entities. Services provided by the Company include claims
administration, loss adjustment, healthcare management, risk management services, class
action administration and risk information services. Crawford & Company is an
Atlanta-based corporation with approximately 10,000 employees worldwide in over 700
offices in 67 countries. The Corporation’s shares are publicly traded on the New York
Stock Exchange under the symbols CRDA and CRDB. The web address is