36300 Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal v. Fraser Health Authority, et al. - and between -Katrina Hammer, et al. v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, et al.
Administrative law – Boards and tribunals – Jurisdiction – Workers’ Compensation
On appeal from the Court of Appeal for British Columbia. The three individuals are among six laboratory technicians employed at Mission Memorial Hospital in B.C. who contracted breast cancer during the period from 1970 and 2004. They applied to the Workers’ Compensation Board for workers compensation benefits, which were denied on the basis that the workplace had not been shown to have caused or materially contributed to the worker’s condition. These decisions were confirmed by the Board’s Review Division. On appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, it found that the workers had met the burden of proof in establishing a causal connection. On reconsiderations by a Review Panel, the decisions were found not to have been patently unreasonable. On an application for judicial review to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, the parties proceeded with one application as representative of all three. The Court held that there had been “no evidence” from which causation could have been inferred. The Tribunal’s original decision having been found patently unreasonable, the reconsideration decision was held to be incorrect. The Court remitted the matter to the Tribunal for reconsideration. The British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, with Newbury and Bennett JJ.A. dissenting.