For many years employment law has wrestled with the interplay between injuries which are compensable under workers’ compensation legislation and punitive damages. The question has been whether an individual can ask the court to punish the perpetrator of harm, or whether workers’ compensation legislation is a full answer for the victim.
According to Justice Marzari of the B.C. Supreme Court in a decision released May 22, 2020 (and as argued by Martin Sheard) the answer is that workers can advance claims for punitive damages notwithstanding that workers’ compensation legislation also provides a remedy.
This is an important decision as it enables access to justice for a great number of people.