Worker's Compensation - 4

An issue which has arisen in previous years is whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction to determine a section 31 application where the worker has received statutory accident benefits (SABs) under the Insurance Act but no court action has been commenced. While early cases found there was no jurisdiction, two decisions in 2007 considered more extensive submissions and found that the Tribunal has jurisdiction. Decision No. 1288/08, 2008 ONWSIAT 2572, agreed with the more recent cases that the Tribunal has jurisdiction to consider a SABs insurer’s section 31 application. Decision No. 1288/08 applied the reasoning in Decision No. 14/06, 2007 ONWSIAT 339, 81 W.S.I.A.T.R. (online), in finding that the insurer had standing to bring an application under section 31(1)(a). The phrase in section 31(1)(a) “right to commence an action”, includes situations in which the right has been conferred but has not been acted upon or triggered. (from WSIAT news website)

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