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B.C. Supreme Court judge orders WorkSafeBC to review case of man called 'retard' by his boss
Lawyer says client was repeatedly belittled by boss for slurred speech, later diagnosed as ALS
Zeidler, M. and Anita Bathe, A. (May 27, 2016). CBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/worksafebc-bc-supreme-court-retard-case-1.3602699.
A man whose boss called him a "retard" has won the right to have WorkSafeBC review his previously rejected claim.
The case was reviewed by a B.C. Supreme Court judge, who said WorkSafeBC should have interviewed and assessed the man as part of his original claim.
Giorgio Cima got the offensive text message from his supervisor three years ago on Christmas Day.
His lawyer, Sebastien Anderson, said Cima was sitting down to dinner with his family and friends and burst into tears when he read it.
Anderson said his client had been diagnosed with a slurred speech disorder that got progressively worse; it was later diagnosed as ALS.
"Throughout the course of that year he had some interactions with his supervisor where his supervisor belittled him, and he found that quite offensive," Anderson said.
Anderson said the boss constantly used phrases like "Do you understand? Do you comprehend what I'm saying to you?"
"So Mr. Cima took the text message to be a direct reference to his progressively worsening speech disorder and was then emotionally distraught and unable to return to work," he said.
Anderson said Cima's claim was denied, despite never having been interviewed by WorkSafeBC. They also never paid for a promised assessment by a psychologist.
WorkSafeBC will reopen and review the case.
B.C. Supreme Court Case Reasons for Judgment
Cima v. Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal, 2016 BCSC 931 – 2016/05/25 Supreme Court