WORKERS’ COMPENSATION - Standard of review – Palpable and overriding error

Law360 Canada (August 31, 2023, 5:57 AM EDT) -- Appeal by Guitard from Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal (Tribunal) decision denying his appeal from Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission’s (Commission) denial of his claim for loss of earnings benefits on grounds that Appeals Tribunal erred in law, mixed fact and law, and fact. Guitard injured his lower back while at work. He was diagnosed with a soft tissue lumbar strain. The Commission accepted the claim for lumbar strain. He continued to work without interruption until he was released from his employment. On March 18, 2016, Guitard’s physician submitted a Physician’s Progress Report to the Commission advising that Guitard had moderate stenosis with spinal compression and required physiotherapy. The Commission sought medical opinions and was advised Guitard’s complaints were not attributable to his previous lumbar strain injury. Based on the medical evidence, the Commission determined Guitard’s claim would not be reopened. Guitard appealed the Commission’s decision not to reopen his claim. The Appeals Tribunal concluded Guitard had suffered a recurrence of his injury and directed the Commission to provide the benefits to which Guitard was entitled retroactive to March 18, 2016. The Commission gathered evidence of Guitard’s earnings and there was no evidence Guitard had earned income from employment since he was released from employment. The Commission advised Guitard he did not meet the criteria for loss of employment benefits. Guitard requested the review of the Commission’s decision. The Commission’s Decision Review Office confirmed the decision and advised Guitard did not meet the criteria. Guitard appealed the Commission’s decision to the Tribunal, but his appeal was denied....
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