Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2384 12
R. Nairn - S. Sahay - K. Hoskin
  • Fibrosis (pulmonary)

The worker worked in the employer's newspaper publishing business from 1956 until his retirement in 1992. He died in 2002. The worker's estate appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying the worker entitlement for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

By definition, idiopathic refers to a disease or disorder that has no known cause. A number of Tribunal decisions have requested the assistance of medical assessors regarding idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The findings of those assessors were interpreted to support a conclusion that there is no epidemiological evidence to suggest a relationship between idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and exposure to metal dust, solvents and fumes.
The Panel in this case also obtained a report from a Tribunal medical assessor. The Panel interpreted the report to be largely consistent with the conclusions in the prior Tribunal decisions. The worker may have had some exposure to asbestos, lead fumes, ink mist, paper dust, naphta and carbon tetrachloride but those exposures did not make a significant contribution to the worker's development of pulmonary fibrosis. At best, the evidence suggested a possibility of a relationship but that was not sufficient for entitlement.
The appeal was dismissed.