The WSIA and earlier Workers’ Compensation Acts are based on the “historic trade-off” in which workers gave up the right to sue in exchange for statutory no-fault benefits. The Tribunal has the exclusive jurisdiction to decide whether a worker’s right to sue has been removed by the Act. Right to sue applications may raise complicated legal issues, such as the interaction between the WSIA and other statutory schemes.
Decision No. 2126/07, 2007 ONWSIAT 2689, 84 W.S.I.A.T.R. (online), illustrates the type of disputes which the Tribunal may be called on to resolve under section 31 of the WSIA. While receiving treatment in hospital for a compensable condition, a worker fainted and sustained injuries to different parts of his body. Tribunal decisions have generally found that, where further injury results from negligent medical treatment, the additional injury is generally foreseeable; the worker is entitled to compensation and the right of action is removed. Decision No. 2126/07 held that the arguments that the new areas of injury were remote from the original injury and that the hospital was negligent in failing to warn the worker and supervise him following treatment, did not distinguish the case from prior Tribunal cases. (from WSIAT news website)