Injured in a Forklift Accident
I am writing this letter because of an injury I sustained on the date of 11/06/2002 . I was employed by a local temp company as an industrial labourer on and before this date. At the time of the injury my services were contracted to a local moving company for their disposal.
This moving company rendered my services to a local government building to move death records and monitors from one government building to another government building. Since I was a temp employee, I was accompanied by a driver employed by the moving company to operate their company truck in order to render services requested.
Now normally every other service rendered by the moving company is to be completed by said company and or its employees. There was no 1st party (I.E Person(s) requesting services) involvement to render such services requested by the 1st party. Responsibility of rendering services requested would fall toward the 2nd party (i.e. the Moving Company), and no employees of the 1st party would participate in the actual rendering of such rendered services.
But at this particular location the 1st party (i.e. local Government building), had one of their female employees maneuver a motorized hand operated pallet jack which was used to move the stack of boxes of death records, and monitors from the level the items were originally located, down to the loading dock where the items were to placed into the moving truck.
As this driver approached the loading dock entrance, where a camera monitored entry and exits out of this loading dock, I recall a phone call that was made back to the moving company’s dispatcher. Not sure as to the specifics of this conversation. There was a minute or two before the doors opened and entry to the loading dock was granted. Once parked, both the driver and I approached a monitored locked door, with a speaker and buttons located on the wall next to the door which instructed us to press the buttons to which the department was able to acquire entry into the main building.
The driver followed the instructions and communicated with the department. A lady came down to instruct us on what was to be moved and we accompanied her to the floor where the items were contained and there she proceeded to acquire a motorized hand operated pallet jack and was accompanied by a male trainee once she returned.
At first the female employee operated the pallet jack to move the first load down to the loading dock. Once we entered the loading dock area, she placed the pallet containing the death records to the center of the loading dock floor. There was a request for another pallet to bring up stairs in order to load more items. I had grabbed a pallet out of the truck by hand and placed it on the floor. It was stated, by someone unknown. “No its ok we have more upstairs.” In turn I was on my way back to the truck with the pallet in hand. By this time the trainee was shown how to use the pallet jack and he proceeded to maneuver it toward the elevator door. As I was walking behind the trainee to stay out of his way, he remarked to me, in a joking manner. “THIS IS MY FIRST TIME OPERATING THIS THING. I AM LIABLE TO RUN SOMEONE OVER!”
Just shortly after stating this, the trainee found himself not in the proper position to enter the elevator doors. He proceeded to reverse on an angle towards me and I saw this and thought what happens if he notices me and panics, could he potentially loose total control of the machinery being used? My actions, knowing that he has me close to the edge, were to take a small step back and then to the left. I thought this would allow me enough time to get out of his way with pallet in hand. As I stepped back on my left foot I found the edge a bit closer than I had anticipated. My left foot was half on and half off the edge of the loading dock. I noticed as I was putting my weight down on my left leg, on the spot where I had stepped, that it was rounded due to a previous impact. I am not sure how or when it was damaged, but it was later determined by me that there was approxima! tely ½ foot to 1 foot in length chip on the edge of the specific spot I stepped back onto.
I lost my balance and fell to the concrete floor approximately 4-5 feet down. During the fall, I tried to push the pallet forward so it wouldn’t land on me on the way down. At the same time I lost my balance, I smashed my right knee on a piece of metal that held the loading dock plastic bumper in place. It was my determination that this bumper was previously damaged and it was left with a metal piece from the bumper bent out of shape.
After falling on my back and knocking the wind out of myself, I laid there gasping for air. I regained my breath a minute or two after falling, during which time I felt pain in my back due to muscle tightening. I looked at my knee and seen blood through my pants. At this time, I felt pain in my back rather than any pain in my knee even though it was bleeding. I tried to stand up and when I did this, I realized I was unable to bear weight because of excruciating pain in my right knee.
Immediately after my fall, I was directed by the driver, that the dispatcher should be notified of the incident and he proceeded to call the dispatcher. At this point the trainee had spoken to the female worker and told her that I was hurt from falling off the loading dock. She proceeded to request for my signature on a blank injury report and I replied. “No documents are to be signed without information filed out.” I asked for her name and title, the trainees name and title, and the contact information. I was in pain and could think of nothing else but of the pain I was in! She proceeded to place her and his name on a piece of paper and requested my information. She also stated that she would mail me my copy of the incident report that she was filing. Up to this date there has been no record of their incident report being filed in any file obtained by anyone involved with ! my case as I am aware of. I have recently received this injury report, which was obtained through the lawyers file, which the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) hired. I also have documentation that an incident was sustained and the details of my injury were filled out by my employer at the temp agency.
There are records at the emergency room of the injury, diagnosis times and other pertinent information about the injury that took place in the local government building. Address is known but the contact information is being withheld for undermined reason by both temp agency, and the moving company. Once the dispatcher arrived on the seen he asked me what happened and proceeded to gather information from all the witnesses of their known facts. He told me I should go to the hospital right away. That was when he drove me to the hospital himself.
Once at the hospital, the dispatcher asked me to keep him updated and he asked for me to update him when I was able to return for work. I was seen by doctor in town. But, to my notice of the documents received, the doctors address and phone number was clearly from a different region in the province. I was diagnosed with a tibial plateau fracture and was referred to a specialist in the fracture clinic. It was because I had no family doctor to follow up with. My leg was wrapped in a back slab and I was sent on my way.
I followed up my appointment to see the referred specialist. It was over the course of 6 different visits with this specialist, his diagnosis went from no fracture, to seeing a fleck of bone under the patella region, to a patella tendon tear, to meniscus tear, to patella tendonitis to nothing wrong. He goes on to note throughout each visit that I had pain complaints in the same area every visit and frustration because the diagnoses were changing so often, and were based on his thoughts and without the proper assessment or investigation to prove or disprove his thoughts of what was going on with my knee.
First visit diagnosis from him, was. “No fractures, possible tendon tear, 07/11/2002 . No visible fractures in x-rays taken by emergency room on 06/11/02 . On the 14/11/2002 he noted visible a small fleck in anterior region of patella, but hard to say this is a fracture due to patella covering femur, in AP view, the lateral view showed no evidence of this fracture, no skyline view taken because of discomfort in flexion. He noticed swelling and contusion to knee o! n both visits and flexion caused pain. He stated that would follow up in 2 weeks and hopefully he will be able to make a better assessment of the situation by then.”
Further visits ended up with a theory diagnoses, with no real investigations completed, the physician did not order an AP view, lateral view, or skyline view x-rays, after 14/11/2002 to follow up with fleck noted in his own documentation on 14/11/2002. There was a bone scan, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Image), as requested by injured worker on 13/02/2003 . On the date of 03/04/2003 these tests came back as noted to be normal, but n! oticed changes and swelling in left ankle, (the healthy, uninjured leg) and there was no treatment to either leg other than physiotherapy, which commenced in 01/12/2002 . The physiotherapist stated positive for McMurray test but specialist stated negative. As for myself, I continued physiotherapy from 01/12/2002 to 01/04/2003 with no real diagnosis from the specialist. With each visit to the physiotherapist, she noticed changes with progress from better to worse over the complete time period of physiotherapy. On the last visit with the specialist, after reviewing my MRI, and Bone Scan results, he ! stated there was nothing wrong. At this moment I requested a second opinion and wished to have access to my medical file, for use while seeking this second opinion. The specialist started to be defensive, in which he stated. "I have him stumped and that he could not assist me anymore, and offered me a referral to one of his colleagues.” I thought I had the ability to make appointments with a family physician and did not trust his current diagnosis or his referral.
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) was involved with my case from; 06/11/2002 to 03/27/2003 upon which it was decided by the adjudicator that I was cut off for not handing in a T4 statement. This was needed to calculate my long term earnings basis. I had made every effort in retrieving this T4, but, since the T4 was from out of town and the T4 was not on record with revenue Canada at that time. In turn the process of retrieving this document was taking longer than WSIB had wished to wait. It was ! made known to me that there was to be no more action put toward my claim until this document was submitted. This now left me with no income or any way to provide for my son. Lack of financial or medical care resulted with me having to move from my address at that time and left me with the thought I was no longer receiving benefits and the fact was stated to me. “No more action was to be placed towards my claim from my -adjudicator.” I was forced to deal with my injury on my own and had no where to turn to or even know how to obtain advice for my current situation.
It has also been noted that there was a transfer of cost as of 01/30/2003 to be investigated by WSIB, but was found that the “Potential Defendant” fell under Schedule 2 of the WSIB Act. No transfer of cost possible, litigation would be followed. This memo was dated on 02/20/2003 . On the date of 01/28/2003 a letter from a lawyer representing herself as being obtained by WSIB to pursue civil litigation against the Queen on my behalf, urging me to sign, but do not date authorizing this lawyer to obtain information from the Ministry of Labour, and my medical records. I was not aware of any litigation before this letter, this made me weary, but, yet curious enough to know the specifics of their intentions to this matter. It was not clear who or what they are going after. I decided to not sign any documents given by this lawyer, until I found out what was going on. I continued to receive letters instructing me to sign, but do not date these authorization forms. As of yet, this company has not made it clear to me their intentions towards the settlement of this litigation. To this date I have not signed or returned any documents to this company. In doing so I was under the impression nothing further would be taken towards this litigation.
Now 1 year later after WSIB payments and their involvement as far as I was under the influence of, was stopped completely. I have recently spoken to WSIB on March 11 2004 requesting the status of my claim. The response from my adjudicator was this. “My file was closed.” I proceeded to request my complete claim file in facsimile form. I just recently obtained appointment with another specialist through a walk-in clinic (after exhausting all avenues available to obtain a family physician) for September 2 2004 .
I am still experiencing pain in my right knee when walking for more than 15 minutes and this hasn’t changed since the original accident. I cannot stand for more then 10 minutes with half my weight bearing on my right knee, I have difficulty climbing stairs, running, biking, or any other physical activities that any normal person of my age, can normally do pain free. It was noted by the attending clinic doctor, that there are degenerative changes to my knee, causing popping, crunching, restrictive movements while bending my knee, pertaining to the anterior patella region. Since the clinic doctor was not an orthopedic specialist or knee specialist, all he could really do is examine me and refer me to a specialist; this referral was obtained Ma! rch 15/2004. As a result of my workplace injury, in addition to damage occurring to my right leg, I also, now experience pain and complication in my left leg.
It has come to my attention by the lawyer obtained by WSIB that the civil litigation was processed and a judgment was made two weeks prior to my conversation with her as of March 22 /2004. This judgment was made in agreement of the plaintiff with which the letter states “RE: SKILLINGS vs. The Queen” and it was made known to me that a cheque was mailed out one week prior to this conversation. To whom, amounts, or any other details has not been disclosed to me. Since I have not authorized them to release my health records or information pertaining to my claim and I have yet to find any documentation that refers to the fact that I have signed the authorization of WSIB to make any! decisions on my behalf. Nor share any other information with any third parties other than a single functional ability and timely return to work form. I fail to realize where in any Freedom of Information Act, Human Rights Act, WSIB Act or even the Labour Codes of Canada, that states that other people can gain my personal information and distribute this information to whom, they see fit, without my consent. I feel that the pursuance of this litigation matter was carried out behind my back! (Without elections forms signed by me) and that this was done to me after the fact, from what I thought, there was no action towards my claim from either my adjudicator, or my employer.
It also has come to my attention though documents that I received though the Freedom of Information, how the process of litigation was filed and what steps has been taken to represent me, on my behalf (which I do not feel that they had the right to do and I do not believe they acted on my behalf in my or my sons best interests properly). In the statement of claim it stated I had an accident which resulted in sustaining a head injury causing brain damage and the fact that I was to be bed ridden either in a hospital and or at home. It was also claimed that I had obtained bruising and lacerations all over my body, hands, arms, and legs. The amount being sued for was in a total of $2,000,000.00. In the defense claim it was stated that I was aware of the safety issues at hand, which be! fore the incident occurred I was not, I was not wearing improper safety boots, which I was wearing at the time government standard work boots which each boot has the safety standard logo, And that I was on drugs or alcohol at the time of incident in question, I definitely do not drink or do drugs while at any workplace, where my safety is or could be in jeopardy. I have never been known or even thought that I have contained alcohol or drugs while at work. This would be against my morals and against the rules of my workplace. I constantly strive to obtain a good work ethics and since these things have been stated against me with out my say on the subject, I feel the have completely falsely represented me violated my rights through defamation of my character and my work ethics.
Through the process of filing a suit without my election and making me known that they were filing a civil litigation they were trying to obtain a police report without my consent or knowledge, and in turn they were denied. Also it has been noted that they were to address Her Majesty the Queen in the proper manner and until this was corrected the process would not be filed. They also were including a John Doe and Jane Doe as one of the defendants, which they were also instructed to strike as such. It has also been noted that they need a required mediation meeting, which was extended for 60 days. During this extension they some how made an agreement to settle for $25,000.00. I am currently reviewing the documentation thoroughly to gain an insight how this settlement was obtained.
As for WSIB, They continue to state there were no injustice done to me and my son because they feel they were in the right by suing because of section 30 (10) of the WSIB ACT:
If the worker or survivor elects to claim benefits under the insurance plan and if the worker is employed by a Schedule 1 employer or the deceased worker was so employed, the Board is subrogated to the rights of the worker or survivor in respect of the action. *The Board is solely entitled to determine whether or not to commence, continue or abandon the action and whether to settle it and on what terms.*
* the statement between the astricks are the actual quote being used by WSIB in regards to having the right to act on my behalf disregarding the two sentences before the one quoted.
They state because of the fact of a form 6 being signed that I elected to claim benefits, but when refered to sections 30(1) and 30(2) of the WSIB Act:
This section applies when a worker or a survivor of a deceased worker is entitled to benefits under the insurance plan with respect to an injury or disease and is also entitled to commence an action against a person in respect of the injury or disease.
The worker or survivor shall elect whether to claim the benefits or to commence the action and shall notify the Board of the option elected.
I asked WSIB head manager if the Form 6 was indeed the election form stated in the above laws, which notified them of my election to recieve benefits or commence action against my employer and she stated no that is a different form. In turn I looked for an elections form in file and have not seen on to this date. I retreaved an elections form on the internet, which represents a wsib elections form and I have come to the conclusion I have never been presented with this form.
In the WSIB Act it states that:
The election must be made within three months after the accident occurs or, if the accident r! esults in death, within three months after the date of death
If an election is not made or if notice of election is not given, the worker or survivor shall be deemed, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have elected not to receive benefits under the insurance plan.
As these rules states I have not elected for what actions were to be taken I feel that WSIB has bent the rules to suit there own needs contrary to my needs or rights.
Also to the fact that they didn’t have a form 26 signed by me or even filled out, this even stands for further question why I was given benefits.
It was noted by the senior of the legal department of WSIB that she reviewed my file and notice that I my benefits were suspended due to failure to comply with returning information pertaining to LOE Adjustments (being the T4) and that I from what she states as not cooperating with the doctor, because of this it has come clear that I would not comply with the action they proceeded with. At this point she directed to the hired lawyer to proceed as she seen fit. Even after sending me a letter stating that without my cooperation they could not proceed with the claim.
In conclusion, I believe that throughout this process there has been a Human Rights violation, a Privacy act Violation, Labour Code violations, Health and Safety violations and possible malpractice committed by each of these individual(s) that had or has had any involvement or interest in my claim. There has been no interest or involvement in my health status or current care. I am currently researching all avenues of approach to get a broader picture of what happened here. Thus far, I have been denied the option to request information on this subject or any other subject in regards to my claim. It is considered not applicable to me and is stated in the first pages of my incomplete file!
I have written to each individual(s) requesting documentation containing any involvement of this matter and shall have responses to those soon. Could I please ask for your advice in this matter, to see what avenues can be pursued to ensure proper compensation is made to “Me and My Son” for my injury that I sustained on the November 6th 2002, and to make sure that each individuals are responsible for their actions. Thank you again for your time and consideration in this matter.