Should I escalate my appeal to The Court of Queen’s Bench?

Dear Blue Collar,

The Appeals Commission sided with WCB in refusing to reverse my claim decision. I’ve been advised against hiring a WCB lawyer to take this to The Court of Queen’s Bench because, so I’ve been told, courts don’t often overturn a tribunal’s decision. True?

Answer: Judicial deference to tribunal determinations is on the rise because today’s legislative schemes require extensive administrative discretion — especially in the award of public benefits — to fulfill their lofty ambitions. Put differently, courts don’t normally overrule the expertise that administrative tribunals bring to the table.

In many cases, tribunals such as the Appeals Commission do an admirable job, and their decisions require no judicial scrutiny. The downside is that courts are often anxious to defer to tribunals without thinking overly hard about the substantive merits of a case or the quality of a tribunal’s performance.

If you’re convinced the Appeals Commission made the wrong decision, first give thought to a Reconsideration Application or contact the Office of the Ombudsman before pursuing a judicial review. Give us a call if you need a hand.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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About Me

Ben Barfett, Principal and Consultant, has spent his life in the construction sector, specifically heavy civil, enviro, commercial, and energy. Having held senior roles in business development, technical advisory, and regional management, he earned his stripes in the field and in head office. Conscious of the interplay between commercial, legal, and execution aspects of construction, his business insights are informed by expertise in WCB policy and enhanced with disability-specific training. 

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Blue Collar Consulting

Blue Collar Consulting is a WCB and disability management firm. The company specializes in rapid and affordable disability solutions that advance current claims, contain the cost of future claims, and get injured workers back on their feet. 

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