Administrative law – Decisions reviewed – Workers Compensation Boards – Benefits – Paramedics – Judicial review – Standard of review – Reasonableness – Employment
Simcoe (County) v. Ontario (Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal),  O.J. No. 1081, 2018 ONSC 1319, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, March 1, 2018, F.N. Marrocco A.C.J.S.C.J., F.P. Kiteley and M.G.J. Quigley JJ.
Mr. P was employed as a paramedic. While attending a music festival on his day off, he was injured while assisting a man who collapsed in front of him. He briefed the paramedic crew when they arrived, and they asked him to assist them with some tasks, including using a suction unit to clear the man’s airway, using monitoring pads, and helping to carry the stretcher. Mr. P tore his bicep while holding the stretcher, and made a claim for benefits to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Mr. P’s claim was denied on the basis that his injury did not arise out of and in the course of his employment, as required by s. 13(1) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Mr. P was successful in appealing the decision to the Tribunal. The Tribunal placed great emphasis on the fact that he was asked by the on-duty paramedics to assist them, and that they asked him to assist because they recognized him as a paramedic who knew what to do. The Tribunal applied the place, time and activity criteria, and concluded Mr. P was engaged in an activity of the very sort that his job required. Accordingly, the Tribunal found that he was acting more in his capacity as an employee than in his personal capacity, and the injury was therefore sustained during the course his employment, entitling him to benefits.
On their application for judicial review, Mr. P’s employer sought a declaration that Mr. P was not entitled to benefits under the Act, or alternatively, an order remitting the issue of his entitlement to benefits to a new hearing before a different panel of the Tribunal. The court found the Tribunal’s decision was reasonable, and the application was dismissed.
This case was digested by Kara Hill, and first published in the LexisNexis® Harper Grey Administrative Law Netletter and the Harper Grey Administrative Law Newsletter. If you would like to discuss this case further, please contact Kara Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org.