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Legal Actions

Any party to a legal action, or the court, may ask us to determine certain issues, and to give our findings to the court in a document called a section 257 certificate.

Typical questions answered by a section 257 certificate include the following:

  1. Whether a person was a worker at the time of the incident.
  2. Whether the injuries suffered by a worker arose out of and in the course of their employment.
  3. Whether an employer or their agent was employed by another employer at the time of the incident.
  4. Whether an employer was engaged in an industry within the meaning of Part 1 of the Workers Compensation Act at the time of the incident.

The section 257 certificate determines these issues and cannot be appealed.  more ...

The decisions WCAT makes in the section 257 certificate affect what legal actions may be taken. Section 10 of the WCA bars a legal action by a worker, the worker's dependants and family members, against a worker or employer in certain circumstances. Section 10 states that only workers' compensation benefits can be claimed for a worker's injuries, disablement, or death arising out of and in the course of their employment. Workers cannot sue their employer, another employer, or another worker who may have caused or contributed to their injury, disability or death where the conduct that caused the injury, disability or death arose out of and in the course of the employment. This is called the "section 10 bar".

The section 257 certificate provides the court with our findings regarding the issues we have determined, but only the court can decide how our findings will affect the legal action.

You may only ask us for a section 257 certificate after a legal action has commenced. Any party involved in a legal action, or the court, may then request a section 257 certificate.

You can apply for a section 257 certificate in one of two ways.

  1. Fill out an Application for Section 257 Determination (you can complete the form online or print it and complete it by hand) and send it to us by email, fax, or mail.
  2. or write to us explaining what determinations you want us to make.

In your letter or form, name the persons for whom you are seeking a section 257 certificate. Include a copy of all the court documents that have been filed in the legal action, such as the Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim/ Notice of Claim, Statement of Defence/ Response to Civil Claim, and any other documents. Usually we consider these applications by written submission, but in some cases we hold oral hearings.

Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal. 150-4600 Jacombs Road, Richmond BC V6V 3B1 * All rights reserved.
Tel. (604) 664-7800 * Toll Free within BC 1 (800) 663-2782 * Fax (604) 664-7898
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