Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1447 22
A. Patterson
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (severity of accident)
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (severity of preexisting condition)

The issue under appeal was whether the employer was entitled to Second Injury and Enhancement Fund (SIEF) relief with respect to the costs of this worker's claim.

The appeal was allowed. The employer was entitled to 50% SIEF relief.
The Vice-Chair found that the severity of the accident was moderate. The worker witnessed the events of a suicide first-hand. It was noted that these events, even for an experienced psychiatric nurse, could reasonably be expected to cause a disabling injury in the nature of an acute stress reaction.
The Vice-Chair found that the worker's pre-existing psychological condition enhanced and prolonged her recovery from the accident, and was to be viewed as moderate. It was noted that the worker had a stressful home environment growing up. The medical evidence indicated that psychological treatment would have to address two distinct issues: the acute stress reaction to the workplace incident, and the "long standing difficulties with confidence and self-esteem [] associated with her family history." Although the worker recovered from her acute stress disorder relatively quickly, the worker's pre-existing condition enhanced and prolonged the necessary mental health treatment.