In Decision No. 1483/21, a three-member panel of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) heard a worker’s appeal relating to several issues, including entitlement to loss of earnings benefits. When determining entitlement to loss of earnings benefits, the Panel considered the evidence as to whether or not the worker was capable of performing suitable modified work within his restrictions. That evidence included two medical reports which had been solicited by the worker’s representative.
In determining what weight to give the reports, the Panel outlined what information a party relying upon a solicited expert report should send to the Tribunal, namely: (a) the letter requesting the report, (b) the questions posed, and (c) the documents provided to the expert.
The Panel’s comments highlight the importance of protecting the transparency of the process when expert reports are solicited by one party to support their claim, and the safeguards which can assist in that transparency. The Panel’s comments also serve as a helpful reminder to advocates to keep in mind the distinctions between reports of treating medical practitioners and reports specifically solicited for the purposes of litigation when preparing and presenting their case.