9/2002 I was injured while working as a Lead Hand for Western Star Trucks in
Kelowna, BC. I suffered a severe distal spiral fracture of the right tibia with
a midshaft fibula fracture, there was significant displacement of the distal
parts. The fracture was displaced and angulated. I was originally treated with
closed reduction using flouroscopy and casting. Due to severe swelling the cast
had to be bivalved within the hour. Upon seeing my specialist a week later
complaining of excruciating pain it was decided that an open reduction internal
fixation of the fracture would done.
This procedure was performed on
April 23/2002 with good results.The pain was reduced significantly and along
with pain killers such as Dilaudid, T3's, Zopiclone (sleeping pills) and
Ibuprofen 600 I was able to cope albeit in a non coherent state.
three weeks of the surgery date I was attending physiotherapy to gain ROM and
On the initial intake report, a return to work date was
expected to be Aug 31/2002. Obviously this was not soon enough for my case
manager Ms. CB as she called to inform me that I will be returning to work July
9/2002 on modified duties for 4 hours a day and 8 hours a day two weeks
I suggested to her that if she was doing her job correctly and
consulted the care givers she would know that I was still non weight bearing,
still on crutches, wearing a robo boot and certainly unable to get my foot into
a steel toed work boot (a WCB requirement). I also mention that I didn't think
my employer would be in agreement her given these facts.
manager told my employer that I was fit to return.
Upon seeing the
plant manager later that day he said "There is no way you are working here in
that condition, she said you were fit for work", this of course is not recorded
on my disclosure.
I also went on to say sarcastically to her that she
could do what she likes as her unfair 8 week review that she imposed, reducing
my benefits drastically, that I could use the money, this however was recorded
on my disclosure.
She had based this review on my previous years
earnings which reflected some plant closures and a work share program (3 days
on & 2 days EI). My earnings she used where $15000.00 less than my
previously years and of course EI benefits are not included. She refused to use
the option of 3 or 5 year earnings stating that "this best reflected the trend
in the past for Western Star Trucks".
Clearly this was not
I appealed this at all levels and of course lost every
During this time I had requested help with doing the chores as I
lived by myself. My property was large and grassed. Mr. LW voc-rehab actually
laughed when I asked for assistance to cut the lawn. He said "you'd have to be
in a wheel chair before you'd get that covered". It cost me $50.00 cash every
two weeks to have this done. I had a lady come into do house cleaning at $25.00
a week cash, more financial hardship. Eventually I was told I could submit
receipts for cleaning. Unfortunately to get a deal I paid cash no receipts and
by this time I was able to manage to do it well enough myself.
not doing well. Infection had set in and was extremely swollen and sore. I had
a weeping deep wound that did not respond to antibiotics. On Sept 26/2002 I
underwent another surgery to remove 2 of the 13 screws that might be causing
problems. On Sept 27 the plant closed in Kelowna and relocated to Portland Or.
October 21st an attempt by my case manage to put me into the OR2
program was stopped by my Orthopedic Surgeon as the bone was not uniting as
anticipated and other complications. He requested a bone stimulator be used for
6 weeks (It didn't help).
I received a call from my CM asking why I was
not going to therapy? I told her that I attend an appointment some weeks ago
only to be told that you had cancelled it and if you were doing your job you
would have known , this conversation is not recorded on the disclosure)
In December I was sent for Gallium and bone scans and arrangements were
made for visit to see another specialist in Vancouver on Jan 21/2003 at the
request of my doctor.
Unfortunately I had suffered a herniated disc
while changing a tire in my weakened physical condition and ended up in
hospital for 2 weeks.
My appoint was cancelled and my benefits were
My CM deemed this as a delay in my recovery and It was a non
compensable injury due its nature.
I was not given the opportunity to
discharge myself from hospital and attend.
Had I been contacted
directly and inform of the suspension of benefits I would have most certainly
attended at all cost. The appointment was rescheduled for a month later,
another financial setback. I had contacted her manager about the unfairness of
this decision and was inform that she would ask the CM to review it as it was
minimal in nature, but it was not her decision to make. The CM did review and
managed to get some MA to say that it did indeed delay my recovery...what a
load of bull....All appeals lost again.
In march I attend 6 weeks at
their OR2 program with 1 week interruption for surgery to remove the remaining
screws and plate in a last attempt for pain relief.
Upon completion May
16/2003 of the program the discharge status states: "Not fit to return to
My benefits were terminated by my CM advising: "Effective May
17, 2003 there are no medical contraindication to your return to full
pre-injury activities including full pre-injury occupational employment
activities" and as a result of her non medically trained diagnosis I have been
challenging this for 4 years now.
I have supplied medical evidence to
support that I cannot return to my previously type employment from my Surgeon
Dr K, a Physiatrist Dr McC, my MD Dr C and even their own WCB MA DR A. stating
that I will have difficulty walking, standing, climbing etc.
I have been
awarded a PPI pension of $274.14/m because of my disability and yet they still
adhere to the CM decision of May 17/2002.
I currently attend the Pain
Clinic every three weeks (covered by WCB as part of my pain management program)
for infusions of Lidocaine to help cope with my chronic pain, and yet they
persist in saying there is nothing wrong.
Her decision has led to
denials for VRA as supposedly back to normal.
I am unable to gain
employment in my field as I am unable to stand or walk for long
I had to sell my house and have existed on the equity for the
last 2 21/2 years.
I have managed to get some employment at times that
involved a great deal of sitting but these are short lived.
I am a
penniless broken man from this fight to have justice and fairness. I am
exhausted both physically and mentally by this process over last 4yrs and
I believe I am down to my final appeal decision and then I
guess its over.
If I had to do it all over I would not involve
Worksafebc I would rather lose everything (which happened anyway with WCB) and
keep my sanity.