Lyme Disease in deployed military personnel [Canadian]: a ‘tick-ing’ time bomb

Ottawa: The Hill Times

CanLyme: This is a very important article. You can sign up for a one day free trial to read the full text, it is worth the small amount of effort and is an astonishing read.  Read full article here. Cut and paste the text and send it far and wide to federal and provincial politicians with a link to The Hill Times so that they have access to the source.

By MICHEL W. DRAPEAU, JOSHUA M. JUNEAU | Published: Monday, 06/03/2013 12:00 am EDT

( Michel W. Drapeau and Joshua Juneau are both litigators. They are also acting as legal counsel for retired officer-cadet Leaf Tremback. The Canadian Forces has denied any wrongdoing in relation to the medical care provided to former officer cadet Leaf Tremback.)

Some article quotes…”Consider the case of retired officer cadet Leaf Tremback who first enrolled in 2005 and while undergoing basic officer’s qualification training at the training centre in rural Farnham, Que., contracted Lyme disease in 2008. Remarkably, Tremback, had to go outside the military medical system to finally receive proper medical treatment. More remarkable, perhaps, is that when Tremback sought independent medical advice, he was threatened by the military with disciplinary action”

Read more… “In a shocking twist, upon becoming advised that Tremback received a second diagnosis for Lyme disease, his CAF physician, like a broken record, denied this diagnosis. Tremback’s CAF consulting physician even accused him of malingering: fabricating or exaggerating the symptoms of his condition for a variety of ‘secondary gain’ motives.”

Yet more disturbing behaviour…“When this third positive diagnosis for Lyme disease was made known to the CAF medical system, Tremback was threatened with disciplinary action for seeking civilian medical advice, and allegedly told that there was nothing wrong with him.”

More amazingly, perhaps, is that this threat of disciplinary action is real. Consider that, pursuant to Sec. 34.07 of the Queen’s Regulations and Orders, a member of the CAF can only seek civilian medical care if it is authorized by his Commanding Officer. Pursuant to the National Defence Act R.S.C. 1985, c. N-5, s.129—Conduct to the Prejudice of Good Order and Discipline—a member of the CAF who does not follow these rules, then may be liable for punishment, including dismissal with disgrace from service.”

5 Comments

  • Sue says:

    I’d like to read the outcome of this case.

    Awareness to the fact that Lyme exist.
    Attention to the remarks made by the CAF consulting physician
    Threat of military disciplinary action

    The two litigators should have enough material to draw from with the information on Lyme that has come about in years.
    I wish them success

    • Nick says:

      I too was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in 2009 after our ship ( hmcs Preserver) broke down and was towed into repairs in Florida. It was a service related injury and was given 0% through VA but was told I eould receive medical benefits which Im still fighting for.

  • Susan says:

    They won’t have success.. How could they when even those who were sprayed with Agents Orange, purple and white for many years in the 1960’s and 70s had their class action lawsuits thrown out?

    ‘Read this Merchant Law Firm Letter 2013:

    We have had significant litigation difficulties with our case regarding Agent Orange and Purple class actions (collectively known as ‘Agent Orange’).

    Our law firm met with initial success. An Agent Orange class action was initially certified in Newfoundland & Labrador by the Honourable Mr. Justice Berry.

    Then, another law firm pursued Agent Orange class action certification in New Brunswick. That went poorly. Not only did the N-B Judge not grant certification, but he said negative things about the Agent Orange claims overall.

    Then, the Saskatchewan Court refused certification for Agent Orange relying heavily on the New Brunswick decision. The Newfoundland Court of Appeal also overturned the certification order granted by the trial division.

    An application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the decision of the Newfoundland Court of Appeal was made, but the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal.

    While our firm may pursue further class action litigation regarding a very limited group of persons affected by Agent Orange in the future, and it is unlikely that the Agent Orange class action litigation will be successful.

    Overall, matters are not encouraging. This is not as a result of anything short of a huge effort having been put into this battle by our law firm and on behalf of the class. A huge investment of money and determination continues to be put into trying to obtain justice for members of Canada’s military, their families, and others who were affected by what we view to be grievous wrongdoing not just by past governments but particularly the current federal government.

    If you have successfully provided us with your contact information by completing the electronic form at the bottom of the specific webpage concerning this case (if you have not already done so, you can locate that specific webpage by reviewing our class action case index at
    http://www.merchantlaw.com/classactions, we will send you by e-mail any updates or info bulletins rendered by our firm in respect of this class action in the future.

    If people couldn’t win this one, how do they expect to win their cases against Lyme?

  • Sandra Howlett says:

    Lymes class action law suit

  • Nick says:

    I never received a anything through VA. I was given 0% compensation even though they agreed it was a service related injury.
    I had lyme disease ( absolutely brutal) in 2009 and have joint and muscle pain and migraines. I was told they would give me medical benefits but hasn’t happened even after they told me I was entitled. The worse part is they won’t tell me what my medical entitlements are so am fighting an uphill battle for something they’ve recognized as a service injury..