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Is Worker’s Suicide a Work Fatality?

A home care worker took his own life about one year after suffering head injuries in a work-related vehicle accident. The WCB Case found that the accident aggravated the worker’s pre-existing psychiatric condition and ordered the employer to pay a fatal injury penalty for his death. And because the fatality affected its experience rating, the employer had to pay higher workers comp rates. Luckily for the employer, the Nova Scotia Workers’ Comp Appeals Tribunal reversed the WCB. Although the accident did aggravate the worker’s mental illness, there was no evidence showing that it played any role in or made the worker more likely to commit suicide. Since the suicide wasn’t compensable, it shouldn’t have counted toward the employer’s workers comp assessment [2018-376-AD (Re), 2019 CanLII 102606 (NS WCAT), October 31, 2019].