Saturday, April 20, 2013

Workers' Compensation Tribunal decision on breast cancer overturned by BC Supreme Court

In a decision issued last month, the BC Supreme Court overturned a ruling by the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal that had found the breast cancer developed by six health care workers in the Fraser Health Authority was an occupational disease and the workers were entitled to WCB benefits.
The court applied the "patently unreasonable" test which still applies to most British Columbia administrative tribunals despite the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Dunsmuir because of BC's Administrative Tribunals Act.  Under that test,  although a tribunal has the right to be wrong there must be some evidence capable of supporting its conclusion.  In the Fraser Health Case, the court found that the expert opinion that there was no occupational origin to the breast cancer was uncontradicted and the tribunal could not substitute its own "expertise or common sense."   

No comments: