Back to Article
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Supreme Court orders WCB to review claim for injuries
Injured ride technician . . . has spent nearly $50,000 on
legal and medical bills . . . "the way I was treated [by the board] wasn't
right." Linda Nguyen, Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER - For almost seven years, Giovanni Cianelli's life
has been a roller coaster of mounting debt from medical bills.
The 38-year-old ride technician at the Pacific National
Exhibition has been fighting with the Workers' Compensation Board and its
appeal tribunal ever since a 17,000-kilogram gondola struck him in the mid-back
in July 2000.
A B.C. Supreme Court judge has now ordered the board to
review Cianelli's case again, after his claim was denied twice.
"I am optimistic this time around. I don't think they had
all the information correct, so this is good news that I'm getting another
review," the East Vancouver resident said of Friday's court decision.
Cianelli, who has worked at the PNE since high school, was
unscrewing bolts on a suspended gondola when it began to move, knocking him to
He landed face down, injuring his forehead and nose and
bruising his ribs.
It wasn't until he returned to work after a five-week
absence that the pain started getting worse.
Cianelli, a father of two young girls, said he didn't
realize how serious the pain was until he was taken to the emergency room
because it began creeping from his feet up to his lower back.
According to court documents, the Workers' Compensation
Board (which was re-branded WorkSafeBC) denied his claims in 2003 and 2006
because Cianelli's pain couldn't be attributed to the accident.
Justice Austin Cullen has ordered the board to look at new
medical evidence in the review, and not just use the facts presented in the
2003 claim. Cianelli said he has spent nearly $50,000 on legal and medical
bills, including biweekly physiotherapy and massage therapy visits.
But he's still happy to be back working full-time at the PNE
for his 20th summer.
"I'm still struggling and sometimes I don't sleep at night.
But the PNE has been supportive because they know I got injured badly and that
the way I was treated [by the board] wasn't right," he said.
[email protected]© The Vancouver Sun
Back to Article