Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1940 12
S. Martel
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Medical report (opinion of medical assessor)

The Board granted the worker a 35% NEL award for post-traumatic stress disability resulting from a sexual assault in the workplace in September 2001. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for bipolar disorder and denying ongoing LOE benefits beyond September 2009.

The bipolar disorder was diagnosed in 2006. There was a report from a Tribunal medical assessor in a different Tribunal decision suggesting that, while a stressor can precede a manic or depressive episode, there would be a close chronological relationship that would be measured in weeks. In this case, the incident occurred in September 2001. In October 2001, the worker was found to have a depressed mood and stress secondary to the sexual harassment. However, the worker was not diagnosed with depression until May 2003. Thus, there was no close chronological relationship in this case.
The Vice-Chair concluded that the workplace accident and the ensuing post-traumatic stress disorder did not significantly contribute to the bipolar disorder.
The worker was not entitled to further LOE benefits. In the years following the accident, the worker was able to work at multiple positions. The Vice-Chair was of the view that the Board had been generous in the benefits granted to the worker.
The appeal was dismissed.