The Yukon Workers’ Compensation, Health and Safety Board is fighting an order to put an injured worker back on its benefits roll.
It’s asked the independent appeal committee to rehear the case.
In May, the board was ordered to pay Michael Schwartz the benefits it had denied him for the last three years.
After being severely injured by a horse while guiding a hunting trip in 1995, Schwartz wasn’t able to continue working as a guide.
In 2001, the WCB agreed and awarded him a monthly wage-loss supplement.
Then, three years ago, the board reversed that decision.
It accused him of lying about the extent of his injury, stopped paying him benefits and demanded that Schwartz pay back the $72,000 he had received over eight years.
Unbeknownst to him, investigators had been videotaping him from across the road, and even sent investigators to his house pretending to be tourists looking to buy recreational property.
Schwartz fought the decision.
In a bizarre twist, the WCB’s investigators continued to spy on him when he travelled to Whitehorse to appeal the board’s decision.
In May the appeals tribunal sided with Schwartz.
In its 32-page decision, the tribunal concluded that the investigator overstepped his authority and wrote a report “rife with conjecture, personal opinions and incorrect reporting.”
“We do not give any weight to the investigator’s statements,” stated the report. “The appeal committee finds the investigator did not follow the board’s policy and conduct himself in a professional manner.”
The original decision has been stayed by the compensation board, and the appeals committee is now reconsidering the case.