Disabled worker awarded $20,000 for mental distress

But Supreme Court of Canada dismisses $100,000 in punitive damages awarded after Sun Life stopped paying worker LTD
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A former bank employee has been awarded $20,000 for mental distress after Sun Life cut off her long-term disability (LTD) benefits without adequate reason.

The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the damages for mental distress awarded by a lower court, but threw out $100,000 in punitive damages awarded by the British Columbia Court of Appeal because there wasn’t enough proof Sun Life was acting in a high-handed or bad-faith manner in denying her benefits.

Connie Fidler was a receptionist at a Royal Bank branch in Burnaby, B.C. In 1990, at the age of 36, she became ill with pyelonephritis, an acute kidney infection, resulting in her hospitalization for several days. After the infection, Fidler continued to suffer from fatigue. She was eventually diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.