A court ruling on Workers' Compensation Board benefits could result in a $12-million payout to 1,400 people, Labour Minister Mark Parent said Tuesday.
The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has ruled that workers who were injured and developed chronic pain on the job before April 17, 1985, should be assessed for benefits.
Until now, the WCB only paid out claims to such workers if they were injured after April 17, 1985, when the section on equality rights of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms went into effect.
Parent said the province will respect the court of appeal's ruling.
"What that meant is anyone who developed chronic pain, whether it was after 1985 or before 1985, was assessable," he said. "There's about 1,400 people, and a potential cost estimated right now at about $12 million."
Parent said the process of assessing workers will begin right away.
Nancy MacCready-Williams, CEO of the WCB, said she expects the work will be done by June 2008.