Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Workers Compensation Boards – Worker – definition – Judicial review – Standard of review – Patent unreasonableness
Chauvet v. Alberta (Workers’ Compensation Board, Appeals Commission),  A.J. No. 493, Alberta Court of Appeal, May 7, 2007, E. McFadyen, R. Berger and K. Ritter JJ.A.
Chauvet was sole owner and director of a private corporation. He was involved in a motor vehicle accident after he attended at a supplier to obtain nails for his workers. At the time of the accident, Chauvet had not applied for the Optional Personal Coverage available to corporate directors under the Workers Compensation Act. Chauvet applied for compensation, claiming he was a worker in the course of his employment when the accident occurred. The Board and the Commission denied his application because it found he worked as a director and was not a worker at the time of the accident. The reviewing judge held that the Commission’s determination that Chauvet acted in the capacity of a director when he was involved in the accident was reasonable. Chauvet appealed this decision.
The Court of Appeal held that the standard of review on the question of whether a claim was compensable was patent unreasonableness. In this case, the conclusion reached by the Commission was not patently unreasonable. Ensuring that workers had sufficient supplies to carry out their functions was ordinarily the function of management. While the actual retrieval of supplies was rarely done by managers for very large enterprises, the ordering and retrieval of supplies by managers in enterprises managed by one person was readily within the scope of that manager’s duties. In the result, Chauvet’s appeal was dismissed.
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