Canadian Injured Workers Society



workers compensation Canadian Injured Workers Society for workers compensation reform

What's Wrong with Workers Compensation?

Injured Workers' Stories
About Us
Current Activities
Past Activities
Commissions & Reports
Law Court Decisions
Related Articles
Medical Professionals
Employees' Info
Employers' Info
Politicians' Info
Privacy and Copyright


Back to Article Index

February 14, 2006

Lawyer blames WorkSafeBC for suicide

A Vancouver lawyer believes an injured Abbotsford trucker would still be alive today if WorkSafeBC [formerly the Workers' Compensation Board] had treated him better.

By Tricia Leslie - Staff reporter

A Vancouver lawyer believes an injured Abbotsford trucker would still be alive today if WorkSafeBC [formerly the Workers' Compensation Board] had treated him better.

Lawyer Craig Paterson last saw 39-year-old Bhupinder Singh Kang on Feb. 7, when he attended an initial vocational assessment meeting with him - a meeting Paterson described as a farce.

"I'm convinced he killed himself to prove he's disabled," Paterson said Monday of Kang, who was found dead of an apparent suicide on the floor of his Abbotsford home just hours after the Tuesday meeting. "The WCB has treated him as a cheater and a liar since he was badly injured in a truck accident in 1998 . . . I'm filing a complete report to the Abbotsford police and I'm asking them to investigate this as a criminal matter."

Paterson said he is also asking B.C. chief coroner Terry Smith to conduct an inquiry into Kang's death, and he is asking WorkSafeBC for an apology.

Paterson says Kang's mental and physical health deteriorated rapidly after the 1998 truck accident, which left Kang with fractures to the neck, an injured shoulder and head injuries. Paterson says Kang received WCB benefits until August of 2000, when they were "cut off."

He was hired by Kang in 2003, Paterson said, and added the board eventually accepted Kang's claim, but his benefits did not resume. Apparently there was a disagreement about whether Kang was willing to participate in programs suggested by the board.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the WorkSafeBC board even had surveillance conducted on Kang and determined "the evidence didn't show that he was able to do anything more than what was being stated already."

"I think we have to stop [WorkSafeBC] from operating the way it does," Paterson said, likening the Tuesday meeting room to a police interrogation cell. "They treat people as cheaters and liars and do covert surveillance on thousands of British Columbians - there's no rules on that."

Paterson was also angered over "a flurry of letters" filled with "legalese" WorkSafeBC sent Kang - without also sending them to himself, Kang's attorney of record.

Kang's brother, Jaspal, was understandably emotional about his brother's death.

"It has been frustrating," he said. "We came back from the meeting, I picked up my daughter from school, then I came back and he was lying on the kitchen floor, unconscious," he recalled, adding his brother had been depressed and suicidal at times, since the truck accident.

"I called the ambulance . . .," he said, then broke off, crying softly.

"I want to see these people [WorkSafeBC] punished. They're the reason my brother died."

WorkSafeBC spokeswoman Donna Freeman noted "the coroner has yet to determine the cause" of Kang's death and said a review will be conducted.

"We would do that with any case where we might wonder if everything had been done . . . if we could have prevented something," she said.

She noted it's a tragic case and sent her condolences to the family, but emphasized Kang's benefits "were not cut off, they were suspended."

"That is required by law," Freeman said. "To attribute this individual's very tragic mental state to a few letters is ridiculous."

Kang's funeral is set for 11 a.m. on Sunday at Riverside Funeral Home in Delta.

published on 02/14/2006

Abbotsford Times

Also see: Eight-year battle with province ends in suicide

Racist Wcb Treats Indo-Canadians Like Criminals!

and SUICIDE and WCBand "Mr. Bupindar Sing Kang is not here after eight years with the WCB of BC. Before that he was a functioning, contributing member of society, namely a truck driver I believe, just as I was an extremely active and successful ship builder. What his story has in common with others of suicide is the psychiatric injury caused by interaction with the WCB that precedes the event, subsequent to occupational injury and disability." - Disability Adjustment And The Co – Relationship of Workers Compensation Induced Psychiatric Injury - As Submitted to the Standing Senate Committee Social Affairs, Science and Technology – On Mental Health Written and Submitted By Darrell C. Powell

Back to Article Index