Suing someone in Civil court in a Common law country involves the Law of Torts.
The principle behind the law of Torts is simple compensate the victim and punish the aggressor.
There are many types of Torts, but generally there are two types IntentionalTorts and Unintentional Torts. From this, a civil lawsuit is filed against the respective WCB. Note the most common used Tort for WCBs is "Tort of Public Misfeasance" (Abuse of public office).
"Every official, from the Prime Minister down to a constable or a collector of taxes, is under the same responsibility for every act done without legal justification as any other citizen" (Tort Law 5th Edition Klar p. 296 Craswell - 2012)
I have provided successful cases as well as unsuccessful cases where the WCB was sued. My reasoning was to learn form the mistakes of others.
If you know of any lawsuits pending or completed against any WCB that is not listed here by all means PLEASE send me a message. I will gladly give you full credit for it!
Deals with a multitude of issues.
The injured worker, which is me, the creator of this site, Paul Taylor, was appealing 5 decisions of the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board - WSIB (Ontario's WCB) to the Workplace Safety Insurance Appeals Tribunal - WSIAT (Ontario's WCT).
The hearing was an oral hearing and took place January 10, July 3, 4 and 5, 2007 at Toronto, Ontario. The separation between January and July was that the WSIAT staff refused to allot me more time when I was booking the hearing.
Deals with Injured Worker filing a request for reconsideration of WSIAT decision.
The injured worker, which is me, Paul Taylor, after receiving the WSIAT decision No. 691/05 dated February 11, 2008, filed for a reconsideration of this decision. I also included with my fifteen page written submission, a considerable amount of new evidence. Unfortunately everything was ignored by the WSIAT in the reconsideration decision process.
Under normal court procedures one, would agree with the rules of evidence, however the WSIB and the WSIAT, which are governed by the WSIA, as well as other laws and WSIB polices have a very clear mandate to be objective and always give the benefit of the doubt. This was not the case and is why I filed a civil action against both the WSIB & the WSIAT.
Superior Court of Justice for Ontario:
Taylor v. WSIB ONSC 1223
Deals with a civil lawsuit against the WSIB and the WSIAT
The injured worker, which is myself sued both the WSIB and the WSIAT for initially $6.5 million, then due to delays by the WSIB and the WSIAT increased it to $16.5 million. I have done this all on my own, without legal counsel. I have done this not because I think I am smarter than the average injured worker, because I am NOT! I have done this because like most injured workers I have no other choice! also because I was disgusted by the inhumane comments by both the WSIB and the WSIAT!
To my filing of the civil lawsuit, the WSIB and the WSIAT filed motions to dismiss my lawsuit. The WSIAT also filed a motion to have the audio recorded evidence excluded and sealed. This was a recorded conversation of the WSIAT panel during the hearing, as well as when they were in deliberations.
The judge decided:
That the claim is statue barred. Also that the WSIB and the WSIAT does NOT have the legal capacity to be sued. The judge also sated that the statement of claim disclosed no cause of action. The judge also stated in his decision that recording of tribunal hearings was a violation of deliberative secrecy and made reference to the case of Tremblay v. Quebec.
Cost Order Superior Court of Justice:
The same judge who presided over the motion hearing also rendered a costs order. My argument was that it was a 'Public Litigation" case in that it involved the public in many ways. The first was that injured workers are a member of the public and as such all would be affected by the outcome. Secondly the public is directly affected when the workers compensation systems push injured workers on to taxpayer funded social programs such as "welfare". For example, in Ontario there are more than 1,400 injured workers every month on OW or ODSP. This is a major financial burden to taxpayers that may likely shift to rightfully WCBs if I had won.
Not surprisingly the Judge awarded cost tot he WSIAT and to the WSIB. However he did state that my claim was NOT vexatious or frivolous. Interestingly enough he did state I would have likely succeeded if I had been represented by a lawyer.
Nice to know especially when the majority of injured workers can not afford representation, which is why I was there in the first place - Justice denied! For now!
Court of Appeal for Ontario:
On December 18, 2017, I had the opportunity to present my case before the Court of Appeal for Ontario. The court was impressed by my arguments and deferred their decision.
Today February 6, 2018, exactly 21 years after my work injury, the Court of Appeal for Ontario released their decision.
Supreme Court of Canada:
I am presently completing the application for 'leave to appeal' to the Supreme Court of Canada- SCC, which will be to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal's decision mentioned above. part of my grounds for appeal is that the Court of Appeal for Ontario completely disregarded the SCC's direction in this identical matter in their decision Shuchuk v. Wolfert & Alberta WCB, where the SCC stated clearly a person (yes, including an injured worker!) has a right to a trial and I was deprived of that right. Also any law to prevent any accountability would also be a violation of NUMEROUS sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms such as Section 2, 7, 11, 12 and 15. As such would be of no force or effect!
I am hopeful to submit my request to the court to be considered at the same time as Gill (listed above as Gill v. WorkSafe BC) from British Columbia.
The key point is to not give upwhen you are fighting your WCB! NEVER!
Stay tuned as I will update my case as new information comes available!
Curtis v. WSIB, 2016 ONSC 2360
Deals with a civil lawsuit against the WSIB.
There is a new element I recently learned about this case, where the WSIB has charged several injured workers and Mr. Curtis was one of them. Their appeal is to be heard by the court of appeal on March 22, 2018.
The plaintiff failed to disclose a cause of action in his pleadings. The plaintiff can and should file an appeal as the case should not have been denied. This does show that making a correct pleading is important to establish your case against the WCB in civil court.
This case was dismissed at the Superior Court level, it is unclear if the Plaintiff intends to appeal at this time.
Deals with civil lawsuit against WCBs and employees - Very Important Case
This case confirms that a WCB as well as its employees, can be sued in civil court.
This is a very interesting case and involves multiply decisions.
Shuchuk v. Wolfert, 2001 ABQB 500
In this decision Thomas Shuchuk filed a civil lawsuit against the Alberta Workers Compensation Board as well as several employees of the board. In his decision Master in Chambers M. Funduk stated "Anyone who has not been living in a sealed glass bubble on an ocean floor for the last 25 years knows that there is a measure of dissatisfaction by some injured workers with The Workers Compensation Board. That is what this lawsuit is about." He went on to state that Mr. Shuchuk did not have a reasonable prospect to succeed in a civil actin against the Alberta Workers Compensation Board and dismissed the claim in its entirety.
This however, would not be the end of the line....
Shuchuk v. Wolfert, 2001 ABQB 937
Mr. Shuchuk appeal the decision of Master in Chambers M. Funduk. In his decision Justice R. P. Marceau stated that "the Workers’ Compensation Board and its officers are not necessarily immune from an action for abuse of power or intentional infliction of mental suffering." Justice R. P. Marceau ultimately ruled that the statement of claim against the Alberta WCB and an employee was allowed to proved. In simple terms Justice R. P. Marceau overturned the previous courts decision.
Yet again this would still not be the end of the line...
Wolfert v. Shuchuk, 2003 ABCA 109
In response to Justice R. P. Marceau decision the Alberta WCB appeal the decision to the Alberta Court of Appeal. The case was heard on February 25, 2003 by Madam Justice Fruman, Mr. Justice Costigan, and Mr. Justice Ritter.
The justices dismissed the appeal, which was filed by the Alberta WCB. This met the previous decision of Justice R. P. Marceau stands.
Yet again this would still not be the end of the line...
29737 - The WCB & Randy Wolfert v. Thomas Shuchuk (Alta.) (Civil) (By Leave)
You can also access the Supreme Court of Canada information here
In response to the Alberta Court of Appeal Decision, the Albert WCB & Mr. Wolfert appealed the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.
In order to file an appeal the first step is file leave (which is simply asking the court's permission to appeal).
Iacobucci, Binnie and Arbour JJ, reviewed the Alberta WCB's Request for Leave to the Supreme Court of Canada and denied the request. Their actual decision is listed in the above linked pdf located at page 18, the section is highlighted for ease.
This meant that the decision of Justice R. P. Marceau stands (applies).
This simply means that Mr. Shuchuk was allowed to sue the Alberta WCB and its employees.
I have heard from a injured worker in Manitoba. He spoke to the lawyer who represented Mr. Shuchuk and can only say that a settlement was reached with the Alberta WCB. For obvious reasons he nor Mr. Shuchuk can not disclose what was settled.
Murray Goodwin v. Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, 2014 NBQB 119
Deals with Civil lawsuit against WCBs
Mr. Goodwin filed a civil lawsuit in 2008 against the New Brunswick Workers Compensation Board, which is now referred to as Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission. In response, to Mr. Goodwin's claim, the New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission filed a motion with the court to dismiss Mr. Goodwin's claim. The grounds for the motion to dismiss was Rule 23.01(2)(a), on the basis that the determination of [Mr. Goodwin's] complaints fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Commission. This dismissal motion was heard before Justice J. McLellan stated the following in his decision:
"11. It seems to me that I must respect the primary jurisdiction of the appeals tribunal. However in this exceptional case we already have a clear situation of delayed justice for many years culminating in the decision reinstating compensation for 10 years back. Thus it seems to me that it is my duty to also affirm the jurisdiction of this court to deal with the allegations that might not be dealt with by the appeals tribunal.
12. Also, it seems to me that in this unusual case that I should consider the issues of Section 7 and 24 of the Charter of Rights as being real and that the Court should keep open to the possibility that there will be some remedy under the Charter that could not be appropriately dealt with by the appeals tribunal.” (Bolded Emphasis added)
The matter then proceeded to trial, which lasted 22 days and was heard before Mr. Justice Raymond T. French.
Unfortunately, in his 207 page decision, Mr. Justice Raymond T. French found that Mr. Goodwin "did not establish many of the material factual allegations on which his claims were based. The facts that were established did not support his claims. Mr. Goodwin’s claim is dismissed". One of the main issues was that Mr. Goodwin failed to show that the New Brunswick Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission had "a duty of care".
Mr. Justice Raymond T. French decision can be seen here.
This is unusual as it is NOT an injured workers suing the WSIB, but it is a doctor. This deals with Doctor being intimidated to change medical diagnosis
Dr. Steinnagel worked at a medical assessment center (Commonly referred to as Regional Evaluation Centers) where injured workers were referred to determine if they had a permanent impairment.
It is a typical problem of the WCBs, like insurance companies, where they would payoff medical centers to say injured workers were not seriously hurt when they were, when they were. in my personal experience after having an injury for more than a year and a half the regional assessment center said I would be fully recovered after 6-8 weeks with no formal treatment. any reasonable person would know if you had the injury for more than a year you are not getting any better especially with no formal treatment.
Fortunately for one injured worker, they had this Dr. Steinnagel assessing them who said the truth that they were seriously injured and she refused to change her diagnosis and as a result she lost her job!
In her claim Dr. Steinnagel argues that she was wrongly terminated because she refused to change a patient's diagnosis for the WSIB.
In response to her claim:
Both the WSIB and her employer WHCS filed a motion to dismiss her claim.
Justice J. Stewart heard the motion and dismissed both motions and allowed the matter to proceed to trial.
As far as I know, no further action has happen in this claim but if anyone hears anything please send me a message
Deals with a multitude of issues.
The injured worker, filed a civil claim against the WorkSafeBC. In response the WorkSafeBC filed a motion to dismiss his claim. This motion was granted and Mr. Gill's claim was struck by the court.
In response, Mr. Gill filed an appeal with the BC Court of Appeal.
BC Court of Appeal:
Supreme Court of Canada:
Mr. Gill filed an application with the Supreme Court of Canada and has been assigned a docket numner. all the materials have been sent tot eh jduges to decide if his matter is important enough to warrant permission to appeal his matter to the Supreme Court of Canada. I wish Mr. Gill All the best luck in his request. My hope is he receives his request as I do then we can both stand before the Supreme Court and argue that such a claim is nothing short of splitting Canadians into two classes. those who are Canadian and have all the rights and privileges guaranteed by law. Those who are injured workers who do not have any rights! This is according to the Court of Appeal's decisions!