Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 186 22
J. Smith
  • Death (maintenance of claim by estate)
  • Pensions (assessment) (disfigurement)
  • Permanent disability (disfigurement)
  • Interest (pre-1990 accident) (rate)

A deceased worker was injured on March 12, 1965 while working as a laborer, when he looked down over the railing of the elevator he was in and was struck by another elevator going down. The worker's estate appealed the quantum of the PD award for facial disfigurement and the quantum of the interest on the PD award paid.

The Vice-Chair found that the PD quantum for disfigurement was appropriately assessed at 3%. With regard to the interest payment, it was agreed that the payment should be calculated in 1968 dollars and escalated to 2020 dollar values.
With respect to the PD award for facial disfigurement, the Vice-Chair agreed that the description of the low end rating under Category 1 captured the facial scarring and disfigurement in this case, as the medical reporting described it as noticeable, but minimal and non-substantial. For this reason, the Vice-Chair confirmed the 3% PD award for facial disfigurement.
With respect to the quantum of interest paid, the Vice-Chair found that given the exceptional circumstances of this case, and the significant delay in payment of the disfigurement benefit, the worker's 3% PD award for facial disfigurement as calculated in 1968 dollars by the Payment Specialist, was to be escalated by the inflation factors established by legislative amendment and applying from the year 1968 to the year 2020, to reflect the dollar value of the award in 2020.
The Vice-Chair accepted the submission of the estate's representative that the PD award for disfigurement should be paid in dollar values which were current at the time that the benefit was paid. In making this determination, the Vice-Chair considered Tribunal jurisprudence on the issue, which has found that it is inequitable in cases of significant delay to pay the lump sum awards for permanent disfigurement in dollar values from the date when it should have been paid (see Decision No. 3143/00).