Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 788 22
A. Patterson
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (enhanced disability)
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (prolonged recovery)
  • Preexisting condition (wrist condition)
  • Preexisting condition (learning disability)

The issue under appeal was whether the employer was entitled to SIEF relief with respect to the costs of this worker's claim.

It was submitted that the worker had a pre-existing organic condition in the wrists and forearms as a result of fractures sustained in dirt-biking accidents. In addition, it was argued that the worker's pre-existing non-organic learning and intellectual disabilities prolonged the worker's retraining, which fell within the scope of a disability which "prolonged or enhanced" the "period resulting from the compensable accident."
The appeal was denied.
The medical reporting supported that the worker's employment duties alone were likely the cause of the worker's repetitive strain injury and TFCC tear. In addition, there were two indicia which suggested that the pre-existing fractures did not contribute to the TFCC tear: first, the worker was asymptomatic prior to October 2019, and, second, the worker had an ulnar negative, not positive, variance.
Lastly, the Vice-Chair did not find that the evidence supported a determination that the worker's documented learning disability had enhanced the costs of the claim. The Vice-Chair acknowledged that the worker's program was extended by three weeks and that he received additional support, but noted that it was a common occurrence for Work Transition plans to be extended even in the absence of learning disabilities, and that the three-week extension was minimal. In addition, it was noted that the Work Transition plan was interrupted by COVID-19 lockdowns which also disrupted the worker's education. Overall, the Suitable Occupation (SO) of Truck Driver had been selected because it suited the worker's aptitude for hands-on learning, and the worker had progressed well in the WT plan to achieve that SO.