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PROCEEDINGS - Jurisdiction of courts

Friday, November 29, 2019 @ 8:06 AM  

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Appeal by the employer from the dismissal of its application for a single forum anti-suit injunction to restrain Arlint and the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board from continuing an action in BC. Arlint, while employed by an Alberta employer, was injured during her employment in a BC motor vehicle accident with the appellant’s employee, also employed in Alberta. Arlint alleged she suffered injuries from the accident and applied to the BC Workers’ Compensation Board for benefits but and was denied benefits. She then applied to the Alberta Board and received disability, medical aid and vocational rehabilitation benefits but no non-pecuniary damages. She then commenced an action in BC for damages. She would have been precluded from commencing the same action in Alberta due to the benefits she received from the Alberta Board.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. BC had jurisdiction as the site of the tort. It was therefore appropriate that the BC courts, since the action began in that province, addressed the issues between these parties. It might be open to the BC courts, on a conflict of laws basis, to apply Alberta workers’ compensation legislation if they so determined. The BC court should also determine whether the action should proceed. This case raised many complex issues for the BC courts to address on a proper evidentiary record.

Pe Ben Oilfield Services (2006) Ltd. v. Arlint, [2019] A.J. No. 1404, Alberta Court of Appeal, M.B. Bielby, J. Antonio and K.P. Feehan JJ.A., October 22, 2019. Digest No. TLD-November252019011