Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1770 14
15/10/2014
G. Dee
  • Out of province (accident in Ontario) (worker not resident of Ontario)
  • Out of province (substantial connection)
  • Right to sue

The plaintiff in a civil action was injured in a motor vehicle accident. The defendants applied to determine whether the plaintiff's right of action was taken away. The issue was whether the plaintiff was a worker of a Schedule 1 employer.

The plaintiff was an employee of an American automobile manufacturer. She lived and worked full-time in Michigan, had workers' compensation coverage in Michigan and was a member of an American union. She was sent to a plant in Ontario to watch the production process in order to try to identify a problem in which gas caps were coming loose somewhere between leaving the Michigan plant and installation in vehicles at the Ontario plant. The plaintiff had been in Ontario for about 24 hours at the time of the accident. She was scheduled to be in Ontario for not more than three days.
The Vice-Chair concluded that there was a lack of substantial connection with Ontario. The plaintiff's presence in Ontario was simply incidental to her employment relationship with her employer in Michigan. There was no contract of service in Ontario. The Vice-Chair also noted that Board policy, which is not actually binding on right to sue applications, indicates that a worker does not usually have a substantial connection to Ontario if a worker works five or fewer days a year in Ontario. In this case, the worker had spent less than five days working in Ontario in her entire work life.
The plaintiff did not have a substantial connection to Ontario. Her right of action was not taken away.