The Yukon Workers’ Health and Safety Compensation Board is trying to recover $600,000 in overpayments from a former worker who is accused of giving the board misleading information.
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal made the ruling last November after a May decision by Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale ordering the case to be re-heard.
The case involves an incident that happened nearly 20 years ago. In 1994, Ashley Byblow, then 25, fell down a gravel hill when working as a temporary surveyor’s assistant. He injured his jaw, left hip, knee and wrist. He was later diagnosed with a concussion. He was paid $90 a day compensation until the end of that year when doctors said he could resume work and driving. The next year, he received a one-time payment for vision loss caused by the accident.
In 2001, his file was re-opened, and the board started payments again. In 2003, his payments increased again. In 2004, the workers’ advocate requested his file be reviewed to see if he was owed more money. A doctor reported Byblow was trying to appear more impaired than he really was.
In 2009, investigators went to Byblow’s home in British Columbia. They found he lied to them about his employment and military records. The board stopped payments and determined it was owed over $600,000 in overpayment. Byblow appealed in 2010. His appeal was denied, and he asked for a judge to review the decision.
Last year, Veale quashed the 2010 decision, in part because Byblow was not given the chance to respond to new information the board received. He ordered the appeal to hear the case with “an open mind.”
The appeal tribunal has sided with the original 2010 decision. Byblow did commit fraud, it found. But Byblow’s educational, health and medical records wouldn’t find anything knew, he said.
The tribunal found that not to be true. Most of his final high school grades were in the Bs and Cs, despite claims he was a straight A and B student. He had a number of head injuries before and after the 1994 incident that he did not disclose to the board in a timely measure, the tribunal found.
Byblow “demonstrated a systematic pattern of elevating his status to others,” the tribunal’s decision states.
According to the tribunal, he repeatedly gave the board, and doctors, incorrect information. He said he worked as a full-time security guard at a department store, but employment records show he was a part-time stockboy. He claimed to be a Lieutenant in the Armed Forces, but left before completing cadet training. While he said he left to get married, records show he was a training failure, even after superiors gave him help. He said he tired easily and couldn’t climb higher than the second rung of a ladder. But a photo journal he made shows him playing 18 holes of golf and climbing steep staircases while in Scotland.
The board cannot comment on the case, but will do what it needs to do to reclaim the money, it said. It is not the tribunal’s job to tell them how to do that, its decision says.
Contact Meagan Gillmore at firstname.lastname@example.org