TORONTO, Dec. 15, 2017 /CNW/ - Earlier today the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (the "Board") announced a policy clarification which will address issues raised in a class action lawsuit. The clarification changes the Board's practice of reducing benefits paid to workers based on pre-existing medical conditions, which had never caused impairment prior to the workplace accident.
In a historic move, the Board has also committed to review all cases from 2012 to the present in which workers' non-economic loss benefits were reduced on account of a pre-existing condition. Where entitlement to a larger benefits award arises because of the clarification, the Board will pay the workers retroactively.
The Board's reduction of non-economic loss awards due to pre-existing conditions was central to a 2014 class action lawsuit launched by injured worker Pietro Castrillo. Mr. Castrillo claimed that the Board's actions constituted a misfeasance in public office. Earlier this year the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned a lower court decision and allowed Mr. Castrillo's lawsuit to proceed against the Board.
Speaking after the Board's announcement Mr. Castrillo's legal counsel, Richard A. Fink, said: "This is a historic move by the WSIB to address the issues raised in the class action lawsuit. The Board has listened to our concerns. The Board will review the cases of hundreds of injured workers and recalculate them based on the policy clarification. Future claims for non-economic loss awards will be decided based on the clarification. We welcome this move by the Board. It is good news for Ontario's workers."
For his part, Mr. Castrillo said: "I welcome the Board's decision. My main focus in this case was never about getting money for myself. I wanted only what was right for injured workers across Ontario. In securing these commitments from the Board, I believe we have achieved the goal I set for myself. Our success shows that injured workers like me can stand up to the Board and win justice!"
In light of the Board's decision, Mr. Castrillo will move to discontinue his class action lawsuit.
Richard A Fink has provided legal representation to injured workers and employers for over 30 years and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a specialist in workers' compensation law.
SOURCE Fink & Bornstein, Professional Corporation, Barristers & Solicitors
For further information: FOR INFORMATION AND INTERVIEWS WITH MR. FINK, CALL (416) 537-0108