Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 407 21 I
02/07/2021
G. Dee - D. Thomson - M. Tzaferis
  • Withdrawal (of appeal) (agreement) (parties)

The worker was injured in a mine in 2017 and appealed decisions regarding entitlement, LOE benefits, and a finding that the employer breached its re-employment obligation. Prior to the hearing of the appeal, the worker and employer reached an agreement involving the payment of compensation to the worker, a withdrawal of the appeal, a confidentiality agreement, and other matters. The worker requested a withdrawal of his appeal.

In this interim decision, the Panel determined that the agreement appeared reasonable given the period of wage loss at stake, limited scope of the ARO's decision, and the risk the worker may not have been successful on appeal. The worker was represented by counsel.
Regarding the enforceability of the agreement under section 16 of the WSIA, the Panel noted that if the worker pursued benefit entitlement under the Act, the Tribunal would presumably have the jurisdiction to determine whether the agreement was void under the Act. However, any other disputes such as compliance with the agreement would not fall within the Tribunal's jurisdiction and would likely need to be resolved by the courts.
The Panel denied the worker's request to incorporate the Minutes of Settlement into an order from the Tribunal as provided for by section 4.1.g of the Tribunal's Practice Direction on Mediation. The agreement was not an agreement providing for entitlement to a specific benefit for a particular period of time. The Tribunal had no capacity to make binding enforceable orders on either the parties or the Board for an agreement that was not anchored to specific findings of statutory benefit entitlement. The Tribunal's authority was restricted to the worker's request to withdraw his appeal. In addition, the agreement was confidential and the terms of the agreement should not be disclosed to the Tribunal or the Board.
In light of the Panel's concerns, the worker was given three weeks from the date of the decision to rescind his request to withdraw his appeal or the appeal would be considered withdrawn.