Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al., (2010) 504 A.R. 79 (QB)

JudgeHillier, J.
CourtCourt of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
Case DateApril 10, 2010
Citations(2010), 504 A.R. 79 (QB);2010 ABQB 368

WCB v. WCBAC (Alta.) (2010), 504 A.R. 79 (QB)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2010] A.R. TBEd. JN.061

The Workers' Compensation Board (applicant) v. Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation (and Libby Wallace)

(respondents)

(0903 20424; 2010 ABQB 368)

Indexed As: Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al.

Alberta Court of Queen's Bench

Judicial District of Edmonton

Hillier, J.

May 31, 2010.

Summary:

Wallace left her employment as a registered nurse for medical reasons. She applied for workers' compensation benefits on the grounds that her respiratory problems were attributable to her employment. An independent medical panel found, among other things, that Wallace's respiratory problems were not "directly work-related". Accordingly, both the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) and the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Board refused Wallace's claim based on their interpretation of the findings of the medical panel. The Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission allowed Wallace's appeal. Taking into account the WCB policy that respiratory problems would be presumed to be work-related if they were partly due to occupational factors, the Appeals Commission found that Wallace's employment contributed to her illness and accepted her claim for compensation. The WCB sought to quash, either by appeal or judicial review, the Appeals Commission's decision.

The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the application.

Workers' Compensation - Topic 1065

Boards - Jurisdiction - To determine causation of injury - Wallace left her employment as a registered nurse for medical reasons - She applied for workers' compensation benefits on the grounds that her respiratory problems were attributable to her employment - An independent medical panel found, among other things, that Wallace's respiratory problems were not "directly work-related" - Accordingly, both the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) and the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Board refused Wallace's claim based on their interpretation of the findings of the medical panel - The Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission allowed Wallace's appeal - Taking into account the WCB policy that respiratory problems would be presumed to be work-related if they were partly due to occupational factors, the Appeals Commission found that Wallace's employment contributed to her illness and accepted her claim for compensation - The WCB sought to quash, either by appeal or judicial review, the Appeals Commission's decision - The WCB asserted that the Appeals Commission did not have the jurisdiction to reach a different conclusion than a medical panel on causation - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the application - The Appeals Commission did not err in interpreting its jurisdiction to determine causation in the face of a medical panel finding on causation - It was properly within the legislative mandate for the Appeals Commission to come to the ultimate determination of a worker's entitlement by deciding whether an injury was work-related by taking into account the context of all the evidence, the Workers' Compensation Act, and the WCB policies - See paragraphs 81 to 92.

Workers' Compensation - Topic 5604

Compensation - Compensable injuries and disabilities - Causation - Wallace left her employment as a registered nurse for medical reasons - She applied for workers' compensation benefits on the grounds that her respiratory problems were attributable to her employment - An independent medical panel found, among other things, that Wallace's respiratory problems were not "directly work-related" - Accordingly, both the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) and the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Board refused Wallace's claim based on their interpretation of the findings of the medical panel - The Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission allowed Wallace's appeal - Taking into account the WCB policy that respiratory problems would be presumed to be work-related if they were partly due to occupational factors, the Appeals Commission found that Wallace's employment contributed to her illness and accepted her claim for compensation - The WCB sought to quash, either by appeal or judicial review, the Appeals Commission's decision - The WCB asserted that the Appeals Commission's decision on entitlement was unreasonable - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the application - There were several reasons why the Appeals Commission's interpretation was reasonable - A medical panel was not asked to consider and apply the Workers' Compensation Act or the WCB policies in reaching their medical findings - Therefore a finding by the medical panel that there was no evidence of a direct causal relationship was not determinative of the issue, and it was reasonable for the Commission to look beyond this finding to the other evidence - Moreover, the Appeals Commission considered whether its decision was consistent with the medical findings of the medical panel - See paragraphs 93 to 99.

Workers' Compensation - Topic 6885

Practice - Medical exam - Medical reports - [See Workers' Compensation - Topic 1065 ].

Workers' Compensation - Topic 7086.1

Practice - Appeals to the courts - Scope of appeal or review - Wallace left her employment as a registered nurse for medical reasons - She applied for workers' compensation benefits on the grounds that her respiratory problems were attributable to her employment - An independent medical panel found, among other things, that Wallace's respiratory problems were not "directly work-related" - Accordingly, both the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) and the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Board refused Wallace's claim based on their interpretation of the findings of the medical panel - The Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission allowed Wallace's appeal - Taking into account the WCB policy that respiratory problems would be presumed to be work-related if they were partly due to occupational factors, the Appeals Commission found that Wallace's employment contributed to her illness and accepted her claim for compensation - The WCB sought to quash, either by appeal or judicial review, the Appeals Commission's decision - At issue was whether the Commission had, while bound by a medical finding, the authority to assess the finding within the context of all the evidence, the Workers' Compensation Act, and the WCB policies - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench held that this case raised a fundamental issue about the relationship between the medical panel's findings and the Appeals Commission's role in dealing with issues of causation and entitlement; in particular whether its statutory grant of power gave it authority to decide questions of causation - That issue was a true question of jurisdiction - Accordingly, the applicable standard of review was correctness - See paragraphs 51 to 80.

Workers' Compensation - Topic 7087

Practice - Appeals to the courts - The record - What constitutes - Wallace left her employment as a registered nurse for medical reasons - She applied for workers' compensation benefits on the grounds that her respiratory problems were attributable to her employment - An independent medical panel found, among other things, that Wallace's respiratory problems were not "directly work-related" - Accordingly, both the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) and the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Board refused Wallace's claim based on their interpretation of the findings of the medical panel - The Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission allowed Wallace's appeal - Taking into account the WCB policy that respiratory problems would be presumed to be work-related if they were partly due to occupational factors, the Appeals Commission found that Wallace's employment contributed to her illness and accepted her claim for compensation - The WCB sought to quash, either by appeal or judicial review, the Appeals Commission's decision - A month after the Appeals Commission rendered its decision reinstating the claim, the WCB wrote the medical panel requesting a "clarification" of one of the four specific questions put to the medical panel - Separate from the Record filed in these proceedings, the WCB purported to file a "Certificate" attaching the request and response for the court's consideration - Wallace objected that the documents: (a) did not form part of the Record; (b) were not provided in evidence before the Appeals Commission and should not be admitted or considered by the court; and (c) did not meet the criteria or test for admission - The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench held that the information obtained after filing the appeal would not be received in evidence - See paragraphs 35 to 44.

Workers' Compensation - Topic 7104

Practice - Evidence - New evidence - [See Workers' Compensation - Topic 7087 ].

Workers' Compensation - Topic 7124

Practice - Judicial review - Standard of review - [See Workers' Compensation - Topic 7086.1 ].

Cases Noticed:

Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) (2005), 371 A.R. 318; 354 W.A.C. 318; 2005 ABCA 276, refd to. [para. 6].

Lee v. Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) et al. (2007), 417 A.R. 370; 410 W.A.C. 370; 2007 ABCA 225, refd to. [para. 6].

Macoon v. Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) (1993), 135 A.R. 183; 33 W.A.C. 183 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 30].

Buckley et al. v. Entz Estate et al. (2007), 401 A.R. 231; 391 W.A.C. 231; 2007 ABCA 7, leave to appeal refused (2007), 376 N.R. 395; 440 A.R. 398; 438 W.A.C. 398 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 30].

Schroder v. Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) (2009), 484 A.R. 176; 2009 ABQB 583, refd to. [para. 30].

White v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) (2006), 400 A.R. 183; 2006 ABQB 359, refd to. [para. 35].

R. v. Palmer, [1980] 1 S.C.R. 759; 30 N.R. 181, refd to. [para. 35, footnote 1].

Alberta Liquor Store Association et al. v. Gaming and Liquor Commission (Alta.) et al. (2006), 406 A.R. 104; 2006 ABQB 904, refd to. [para. 35, footnote 1].

New Brunswick (Board of Management) v. Dunsmuir (2008), 372 N.R. 1; 329 N.B.R.(2d) 1; 844 A.P.R. 1; 2008 SCC 9, refd to. [para. 51].

Gahir v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al. (2009), 448 A.R. 135; 447 W.A.C. 135; 2009 ABCA 59, refd to. [para. 54].

Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Schumaker - see Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al.

Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al. (2005), 371 A.R. 62; 354 W.A.C. 62; 2005 ABCA 235, refd to. [para. 55].

Chauvet et al. v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al. (2007), 409 A.R. 17; 402 W.A.C. 17; 2007 ABCA 155, refd to. [para. 55].

Galger v. Workers' Compensation Board (Sask.) (2009), 335 Sask.R. 137; 2009 SKQB 206, dist. [para. 56].

Jones v. Workers' Compensation Board (B.C.) et al. (2005), 216 B.C.A.C. 261; 356 W.A.C. 261; 45 B.C.L.R.(4th) 257; 2005 BCCA 458, leave to appeal refused (2006), 354 N.R. 195; 233 B.C.A.C. 320; 386 W.A.C. 320 (S.C.C.), dist. [para. 56].

Bagri v. Workers' Compensation Board (B.C.), [2009] B.C.T.C. Uned. 1262; 2009 BCSC 1262, refd to. [para. 57].

Dr. Q., Re, [2003] 1 S.C.R. 226; 302 N.R. 34; 179 B.C.A.C. 170; 295 W.A.C. 170; 2003 SCC 19, refd to. [para. 64].

Nolan v. Kerry (Canada) Inc. - see Nolan et al. v. Superintendent of Financial Services (Ont.) et al.

Nolan et al. v. Superintendent of Financial Services (Ont.) et al., [2009] 2 S.C.R. 678; 391 N.R. 234; 253 O.A.C. 256; 2009 SCC 39, refd to. [para. 65].

Pasiechnyk et al. v. Procrane Inc. et al., [1997] 2 S.C.R. 890; 216 N.R. 1; 158 Sask.R. 81; 153 W.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 69].

Quebec v. Caisse populaire Desjardins de Montmagny - see 9083-4185 Québec Inc. (Bankrupt), Re.

9083-4185 Québec Inc. (Bankrupt), Re (2009), 394 N.R. 368; 2009 SCC 49, refd to. [para. 82].

Ludco Enterprises Ltd. et al. v. Ministre du Revenu national, [2001] 2 S.C.R. 1082; 275 N.R. 90; 2001 SCC 62, refd to. [para. 82].

A.D. v. Director of Child Welfare (Alta.) et al., [2010] A.R. Uned. 28; 2010 ABCA 83, refd to. [para. 82].

Rizzo & Rizzo Shoes Ltd. (Bankrupt), Re, [1998] 1 S.C.R. 27; 221 N.R. 241; 106 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 82].

Shuchuk v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) (2007), 409 A.R. 321; 402 W.A.C. 321; 2007 ABCA 213, refd to. [para. 84].

Jones v. Workers' Compensation Board (B.C.) et al. (2003), 188 B.C.A.C. 280; 308 W.A.C. 280; 2003 BCCA 598, refd to. [para. 86].

Laferrière v. Lawson, [1991] 1 S.C.R. 541; 123 N.R. 325; 38 Q.A.C. 161, refd to. [para. 87].

Counsel:

Jason J.J. Bodnar, for the applicant, Workers' Compensation Board;

S.R. Hermiston, for the respondent Commission;

Patrick Nugent, for the worker Libby Wallace.

This application was heard on April 10, 2010, by Hillier, J., of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench, Judicial District of Edmonton, who delivered the following reasons for judgment on May 31, 2010.

To continue reading

Request your trial
4 practice notes
  • Tompkins v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.), 2012 ABQB 783
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • November 1, 2012
    ...ABCA 7 , refd to. [para. 29]. Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al. (2010), 504 A.R. 79; 2010 ABQB 368 , refd to. [para. Alberta Teachers' Association v. Information and Privacy Commissioner (Alta.) et al., [2011] 3 S.C.R. 654......
  • Tompkins v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.), [2012] A.R. Uned. 434
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • June 27, 2012
    ...as prescribed by the Court in Alberta (Workers' Compensation Board) v Alberta (Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation) , 2010 ABQB 368, 504 AR 79 ( Wallace ). [15] The WCB further argues that the standard of proof applicable to adjudication of workers compensation claims in Al......
  • Nabors Canada Ltd. v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al., 2010 ABCA 243
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • May 7, 2010
    ...ABQB 661 , refd to. [para. 15]. Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al. (2010), 504 A.R. 79; 2010 ABQB 368 , refd to. [para. Bell Canada v. Canadian Telephone Employees Association et al., [2003] 1 S.C.R. 884 ; 306 N.R. 34 ; 2......
  • Alberta Employment Update - Winter 2011
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • January 25, 2012
    ...be served with notices to attend. The Workers' Compensation Board v. Alberta (Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation) 2010 ABQB 368 In a recent decision of Mr. Justice S. D. Hillier, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench considered whether a WCB claim was compensable. The main is......
3 cases
  • Tompkins v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.), 2012 ABQB 783
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • November 1, 2012
    ...ABCA 7 , refd to. [para. 29]. Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al. (2010), 504 A.R. 79; 2010 ABQB 368 , refd to. [para. Alberta Teachers' Association v. Information and Privacy Commissioner (Alta.) et al., [2011] 3 S.C.R. 654......
  • Tompkins v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.), [2012] A.R. Uned. 434
    • Canada
    • Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta (Canada)
    • June 27, 2012
    ...as prescribed by the Court in Alberta (Workers' Compensation Board) v Alberta (Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation) , 2010 ABQB 368, 504 AR 79 ( Wallace ). [15] The WCB further argues that the standard of proof applicable to adjudication of workers compensation claims in Al......
  • Nabors Canada Ltd. v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al., 2010 ABCA 243
    • Canada
    • Court of Appeal (Alberta)
    • May 7, 2010
    ...ABQB 661 , refd to. [para. 15]. Workers' Compensation Board (Alta.) v. Workers' Compensation Board Appeals Commission (Alta.) et al. (2010), 504 A.R. 79; 2010 ABQB 368 , refd to. [para. Bell Canada v. Canadian Telephone Employees Association et al., [2003] 1 S.C.R. 884 ; 306 N.R. 34 ; 2......
1 firm's commentaries
  • Alberta Employment Update - Winter 2011
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • January 25, 2012
    ...be served with notices to attend. The Workers' Compensation Board v. Alberta (Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation) 2010 ABQB 368 In a recent decision of Mr. Justice S. D. Hillier, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench considered whether a WCB claim was compensable. The main is......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT