Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1514 19 R
M. Crystal
  • Executive officers
  • In the course of employment (personal activity)
  • Reconsideration (error of law)
  • Right to sue

In Decision No. 1514/19, the vice-chair found that an executive officer of a trucking company who was driving a company vehicle at the time of the accident was entitled to protection from civil action under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. The vice-chair disagreed with Decisions No. 626/19 and 626/19R, which had concluded that in order to be protected from civil action, executive officers needed to be deemed workers under section 12(3) of the Act.

The plaintiff's request for reconsideration was denied.
The vice-chair's determination that the executive officer did not need to be a deemed worker in order to be protected from civil action was consistent with Decision No. 626/19R2, which was released after Decision No. 1514/19 and reversed the approach taken in Decisions No. 626/19 and 626/19R. The determination was also consistent with the plain meaning of sections 28(1) and 12(3). If protection from civil action for executive officers was contingent upon obtaining optional coverage and becoming deemed workers, this would have been stated explicitly in section 28(1).
An executive officer will be protected from civil action when the executive officer's role in the accident has a good faith connection to work. The vice-chair's conclusion that the defendant was working when the accident occurred was reasonable based on the evidence. The vice-chair did not err in considering information included in a transcript from an examination for discovery or by failing to address an issue regarding a missing waybill. The vice-chair provided reasons for concluding on a balance of probabilities that the defendant was engaged in a work-related activity at the time of the accident.