$3.2 million lawsuit against WSIB gets go ahead

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A Hamilton-based doctor is suing the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board – as well as her former employer – for a staggering $3.2 million amid claims she was fired for failing to give a medical opinion that suited the WSIB’s agenda.

Superior Court Justice Elizabeth Stewart denied the WSIB's request to dismiss Brenda Steinnangel’s lawsuit or to at least strike portions from her statement of claim. The 50-year-old physician’s former employer, Workplace Health & Cost Solutions, also lost its bid to strike portions of the statement.
“The defendants WSIB and WHCS tried to force Dr. Steinnagel to participate in a fraud upon the public,” the statement alleges.

“In a desperate effort to reduce claims paid out, WSIB and WHCS have been conspiring to deny legitimate claims in a shocking display of arrogance and corruption,” it continues. “They pressured Dr. Steinnagel over a period of months to reverse her medical opinion on a high-cost case. When she refused, she was fired.”

The high-cost case at the centre of the controversy was in regards to one hospital worker who was claiming benefits after suffering head injuries while attempting to restrain a patient.

Steinnagel concluded that the worker’s emotional issues could be related to his workplace accident but within two weeks of delivering her opinion, she alleges the WSIB requested clarification.

After further review, which included speaking with the worker’s family doctor, Steinnagel says she reached the same conclusion again but insists the WSIB continued to resist her professional opinion.
She alleges that, at one point, WHCS’s medical director authored a different opinion with her name on it but she refused to sign.

After what she says was months of pressure and a “relentless campaign” against her, Steinnagel’s employment was terminated.

None of the allegation have been proven in court and both the WSIB and WHCS staunchly deny any wrongdoing.

“The claims she has made about improper conduct are without merit,” said WHCS lawyer Greg McGinnis, calling Steinnagel “an apparently disgruntled former employee.”
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  • Helena Dyck CHRL on 2016-04-27 7:28:32 PM

    This doctor is to be commended for her ethics. The issue of fraud in the medical profession in regards to automobile insurance, WSIB is undeniable a known fact by many. I would love to help testify for this doctor. A doctor of chiropractic testified to me that he had a friend who wrote his opionions of patients ailments in favour of an insurance company or WSIB. The doctor testified that the friend did this deliberately and intentionally because it was lucrative business. Occasionally he would agree that there was something wrong with the patient just so people wouldn't talk. He did this rarely because it would mean losing business from insurance companies and WSIB. Reports to govering bodies of medical professions have resulted in very little progress. This is a big problem. If the insurance people and WSIB end up not paying for a persons injuries then the tax payer will. Head injuries are particularly difficult because people have lost a primary function that may be unrecognizeable to the person who sustatined the injury. A head injury is like a computer virus or a damage in a computer chip. Things can seem normal but aren't.

  • H.M Shakir on 2016-04-30 9:19:45 PM


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