Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 468 08 R
E. Smith
  • Reconsideration (delay)

In Decision No. 468/08, the hearing panel denied the worker entitlement for traumatic mental stress. The worker applied for reconsideration of Decision No. 468/08.

The application was made about four years after release of the original decision. The Vice-Chair referred to the Tribunal practice direction on Reconsiderations that has been in effect since 2007. That practice direction provides that, generally, it is not advisable to reconsider a decision after more than six months since the date of the decision and that a delay of more than six months in making an application for reconsideration is a factor which may be weighed in deciding whether it is advisable to reconsider a decision.
The worker referred to nine decisions of the Tribunal which have granted reconsideration requests despite delays of four years or more from the date of the original decision to the date the request was granted. The Vice-Chair noted that the relevant delay is only from the date of the original decision to the date the request for reconsideration was made.
The Vice-Chair also noted that some of those decisions involved cases where there was a lack of a full hearing process or where there was new evidence that was not previously available.
The Vice-Chair accepted that delay does not preclude reconsideration but found that considerable weight should be given to the delay of four years in this case. The Vice-Chair also reviewed the worker's submissions on the grounds for reconsideration and found that there was no new evidence in this case that could not have been provided earlier, there was no defect in the administrative process of the decision and that the hearing panel considered and weighed the evidence. Thus, it was unlikely that the result of the original decision would change if the case were re-heard.
The application was denied.