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This profile was last updated on 3/8/02  and contains information from public web pages.

Mrs. Eileen Cockburn

Wrong Eileen Cockburn?

Worker

Phone: (780) ***-****  HQ Phone
Edmonton Journal
10006 101St Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0S1
Canada

 
Background

Employment History

  • Worker
  • Alberta WCB
Web References
injusticebusters 1998 > > Workman's Compensation stories -- and links to sites which help injured workers
www.injusticebusters.com, 8 Mar 2002 [cached]
injusticebusters publishes the full story of Gordon McMullan's fight on behalf of Eileen Cockburn.In fact, his story would be of no more interest than any story of a man doing his job -- and doing it well -- were it not for the fact that public servants so rarely grasp that their job is to serve the public!This story is complete.Eileen Cockburn filed a claim and eventually she received her money. injusticebusters intends to keep it up here whatever the outcome of WCB's attempts to shut this story down.
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Eileen Cockburn was an injured newspaper carrier who was originally defrauded out of workers compensation benefits because the Alberta WCB viewed her as a "newspaper carrier".
Although there were many who were defrauded before her, if it had not been for Eileen Cockburn, the fraudulent misconduct by the Alberta WCB might not have ever been discovered.
Within this page I not only tell her story, as a victim of the WCB, but I also tell the story of how I came to uncover the fraud against newspaper carriers while I worked at the Alberta WCB.
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On October 12, 1994, I received a call from a lady named Eileen Cockburn.She told me that she had been injured while delivering newspapers for the Edmonton Journal.She went on to say that when she reported her injury to her boss at the Edmonton Journal she was told that she was not covered as a "worker" under the Workers' Compensation Act of Alberta.
When she spoke to me she was distraught,and she wanted to know if this was true, and why.I advised Mrs. Cockburn that it was also my understanding that newspaper carriers were being denied workers compensation coverage, but that I did not know why. .
Concerned about her emotional state, and wanting to explain the basis of the denial to her, I told her I would look into the matter and call her back with an explanation.
My Investigation
As an Assessment Information Officer, one of my duties was to determine if someone was, or was not, a "worker"under the Workers Compensation Act.
Following normal procedure in Mrs. Cockburn's case, I asked her a number of questions which were important to determining her true "status" under the Act.Following that, I then called the Edmonton Journal where I also obtained information from them regarding the Journal's employment relationship with Mrs. Cockburn.
Based on the information obtained from both Mrs. Cockburn and the Edmonton Journal it was clear to me that Mrs.Cockburn was a "worker" under the Act, and accordingly she should have been able to advance a claim for benefits.
Knowing how distraught Mrs. Cockburn was, and being certain that she should be able to advance her claim, I set out to find out why the WCB was denying the claims of newspaper carriers.
...
There was no way I was going to participate in this sort of misconduct, especially when I knew how distraught Mrs. Cockburn was over having her claim denied.
I felt that Mrs. Cockburn, like all injured workers, should receive the benefits she was legally entitled to.
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Cockburn's] inquiry I have come to the conclusion that legally we should cover her as a worker of the Edmonton Journal.
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"As the Act and Policy dictates newspaper carriers should be covered we should honor the claim of Mrs. Cockburn..."
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I felt that I was being instructed to participate in what would be a fraud against Mrs. Cockburn; a fraud to deny her of the workers compensation benefits she deserved.Because of these concerns I did not convey a response to Mrs. Cockburn.
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Although my supervisor had agreed with me that Mrs. Cockburn was a "newspaper carrier" in the minds of the WCB, the Edmonton Journal appeared to be willing to cover Mrs. Cockburn under the Board Order it sought and obtained in 1980.
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"When we have time I would like to meet with you regarding this subject and specifically the status of Mrs. Cockburn."
Ms. Redel did not reply to this memo, however, on December1, 1994, I received another telephone call from Mrs. Cockburn.
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"Eileen Cockburn called today wondering if there has been a decision on her claim.
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Ms. Price then asked if I wanted to contact Ms. Cockburn to tell her about the WCB's decision to deny her claim.
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Following my termination I filed a wrongful dismissal action against the WCB of Alberta, including a claim that they had instructed me to act improperly towards Mrs. Cockburn.
Ms. Cockburn Appeals
In the fall of 1995, Mrs. Cockburn was contacted to be a witness in my case.At that time I found out that the WCB had still not paid her the benefits she was legally entitled to receive.At that point I authorized my lawyer to act as her lawyer to help her file an internal WCB "appeal", so that she would get the benefits she had been defrauded out of earlier by the WCB.
In December 1995, when the WCB was confronted with the prospect of having its conduct toward Mrs. Cockburn exposed within its own "appeal" process, it continued to refuse to reverse its earlier decision and to pay her the benefits it had defrauded her out of.
WCB Files False Affidavit
Instead of paying Mrs. Cockburn the compensation benefits she deserved, the WCB decided to, on January 4, 1996, file a falseaffidavit in my Court action.
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4. That I have come to learn from information provided through other employees of the Workers' Compensation Board and elsewhere and do verily believe that contrary to the terms of the Confidentiality Covenant which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A" to this my Affidavit the Plaintiff has provided confidential documents which are the property of the Workers Compensation Board to Eileen Cockburn or alternatively has provided those confidential documents to Barry McMullan who has in turn provided the same to Eileen Cockburn.
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4. That I have come to learn from information provided through other employees of the Workers' Compensation Board and elsewhere and do verily believe that contrary to the terms of the Confidentiality Covenant which is attached hereto as Exhibit "A" to this my Affidavit the Plaintiff has provided confidential documents which are the property of the Workers Compensation Board to Eileen Cockburn or alternatively has provided those confidential documents to Barry McMullan who has in turn provided the same to Eileen Cockburn.
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As a result of the WCB's misconduct (including the filing of the false Affidavit) Mrs. Cockburn was forced to file a Court Action of her own to get the benefits she was wrongly denied.I believe that she felt she needed the Court's protection.
On behalf of Ms. Cockburn I filed an Affidavit with the Court outlining what I knew about her claim, the way she was being treated, and the underlying fraudulent behavior by the WCB against the class of worker it identified as "newspaper carriers."
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