The plaintiff was injured when he was pushed into a trench next to a construction site where he was employed as a security guard. The plaintiff sued the man that pushed him, along with the construction company, and the local municipality that had dug the trench.
Several of the defendants in the lawsuit brought an application before the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) seeking a finding that the plaintiff’s injuries were covered by WorkSafeBC. The City of Victoria was represented by then Carfra Lawton associate, Caroline Alexander.
The plaintiff resisted the WCAT application as the assault occurred before his shift began and outside of the construction site where he was employed.
In its recently published decision , WCAT determined that any injuries suffered by the plaintiff as a result of the assault and the fall did, in fact, arise out of and in the course of his employment. The tribunal weighed various factors and concluded that the trench was sufficiently close to the construction site such that it was an extension of the plaintiff’s worksite and also constituted a special hazard in the immediate approach to his workplace. Further, although the assault occurred before the start of the plaintiff’s shift, the plaintiff was acting in his employer’s benefit at the time and performing an activity that was within his expected work duties.
Case law summary by Andrew Buckley