Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1550 22
K. Iima
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (enhanced disability)
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (severity of accident)
  • Second Injury and Enhancement Fund {SIEF} (severity of preexisting condition)
  • Preexisting condition (blood clot)

The issue under appeal was whether the employer was entitled to SIEF relief with respect to the costs of this worker's claim and, if so, the quantum of such relief. On May 22, 2019, the worker suffered a concussion after bumping her head.

The appeal was allowed. The employer was entitled to 75% SIEF relief based on a moderate pre-existing condition and a minor accident.
In determining whether SIEF relief was appropriate in this appeal, the Vice-Chair adopted the reasoning set out in Decision No. 2970/18, that the term "condition" should be broadly interpreted in order to achieve a fair and consistent result. The Vice-Chair found the medical evidence supported that the worker's use of warfarin to treat her pre-existing blood clot condition posed difficulties in treating the worker's post-traumatic migraines, thereby enhancing and prolonging her work-related disability, and likely making her more liable to develop a disability of greater severity than a normal person. The worker had significant difficulty in progressing in her return to work program, and remained symptomatic well over 18 months after the workplace injury. The worker's pre-accident condition was characterized as moderate.
Furthermore, the accident did not involve any force other than the motion of the worker's own body leaning forward. The Vice-Chair found the severity of the accident to be minor. It was noted that this conclusion was consistent with other Tribunal decisions which have found that the severity of a head injury from hitting one's head on an object or shelf when standing up from a bent position constitutes an accident of minor severity for the purposes of the SIEF policy (see Decision No. 487/20).