Surveillance-quotes from cases

Surveillance occurs most commonly around the 2 year mark (change of definition). Also during the rehab plans, many work hardening physio places have recordings, often mentioned in the intake forms they ask you to sign. If you get a request to fill out an activity sheet or have a more detailed interview about how you function-this often is a time to have you watched. That is why it is so important that you do not speak in absolutes.

Here are some discussions from court/tribunal decision:
This is because GWL makes its decision with respect to claims before it without any formal submission process from the parties. The decision to use covert surveillance on any file is an internal decision made by GWL, and only revealed to the claimant if they seek disclosure of their file from GWL.
( So always request your claim file if you feel the Insurer is starting to take a more active approach with your claim)

GWL had, in part, based its denial of LTD benefits on covert video surveillance of Brown. A DVD containing approximately 73 minutes of footage and a written surveillance report were included in the materials

Surveillance was conducted on August 23, 24, 25, 26, September 6, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, October 6, 7, 11, 12 and 14, 2005. Typically two investigators were involved, each with their own vehicle and video equipment. At times the investigators shooting the video were standing on private property, while at other times they were in their vehicles, on public roads.

The video surveillance of the worker was detailed and over a long period of time, and confirmed that the worker repeatedly demonstrated the ability to drive, moving her neck without difficulty.

There are multiple inconsistencies in the worker’s level of disability as he reports it and as is observed and as is shown in the surveillance evidence

(v) Pre-Surveillance Interview
[24] In her notes to file, Ms. Mayo wrote that on May 13, 2005, she set up a “claimant interview [and] pre-surveillance as we may want to do surveillance in future. Also do financial check.”
[25] On May 24, 2005, Mark Lockhart of Quality Investigative Services Ltd. interviewed the respondent. The respondent told him that he was unable to do anything that involved bending, twisting or heavy lifting. Mr. Lockhart’s report stated that the respondent reported that he tried to keep himself moving and doing little things around the house and that when asked for an estimated return to work date, the respondent said that he did not have one. The report stated that one of his therapists/doctors had stated possibly by the end of June 2005.
(vi) Independent Medical Examination
[26] Thereafter, the appellant referred the respondent to Dr. Hupel, an orthopedic surgeon, for an independent medical examination. The respondent saw him on June 2, 2005.
[27] The appellant received Dr. Hupel’s report on July 8, 2005. In response to the question: “In your view, does the [respondent] suffer from a physical condition, which prevents [him] from returning to [his] former position at work on a full-time basis?”, Dr. Hupel wrote: “At present, I feel that in the absence of radiological investigations, this man should not return to his former employment. Following review of the investigations suggested, I would be pleased to comment further on his return to work.”
[28] On June 10, 2005, the respondent spoke with Ms. Mayo by phone and requested a copy of the investigative report and Dr. Hupel’s report. She told him that it was the appellant’s policy not to provide investigative reports to an insured. She said that she would send Dr. Hupel’s report to the respondent’s family doctor, Dr. Huth, but she never did so. Dr. Huth did receive the report from someone however.
[29] On June 20 and July 22, 2005, the appellant paid the respondent $3,000 for each of the periods April 21, 2005 to May 21, 2005 and May 21, 2005 to June 21, 2005.
(vii) Dr. Huth’s Report
[30] The respondent attempted to work in the week of June 28, 2005 but was unable to do so.
[31] On August 10, 2005, the appellant received a supplemental claim report from the respondent stating that his current activities consisted of limited household activities. He attached a report dated July 21, 2005 from Dr. Huth.[1] In this report, Dr. Huth stated that “it does not seem that this man will be able to work at bricklaying again.” He noted that the respondent was having physiotherapy and that an EMG and an MRI were pending. The June 6, 2005 CAT scan showed a problem with the respondent’s lumbar spine.
[32] On August 22, 2005, the appellant paid the respondent $3,000 for the period June 21, 2005 to July 21, 2005. This was the last payment the respondent would receive from the appellant until September 2011.
(viii) Surveillance
[33] At some point, the appellant retained Quality Investigative Services Ltd. to conduct surveillance on the respondent. The appellant received its report, dated August 17, 2005, on August 24, 2005. The report addressed surveillance conducted on August 3, 10 and 11 and provided a video synopsis. As noted by the appellant, the observations for the latter two days were unremarkable. The respondent was not observed doing any work on those days.
[34] The August 3rd surveillance was maintained from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. outside the respondent’s residence. He was observed to be working in his back yard and about his house from 1:35 p.m. until 3:02 p.m. He was seen shoveling what appeared to be a powder mixture from a van into a pail and wheeling it into the back yard in a wheelbarrow. He removed tools and other work-related items from his backyard. He lifted the wheelbarrow and a wooden skid into the back of a trailer.
(ix) Decision to Terminate Benefits
[35] After viewing the surveillance, Ms. Mayo decided not to pay any further disability benefits beyond July 21, 2005. She testified that it appeared that the respondent’s activities were inconsistent with the information he was providing to the appellant. She also testified that the appellant was not receiving any medical reports from the respondent’s doctor.
[36] She made the decision to terminate benefits in the absence of any medical evidence indicating that the respondent was other than totally disabled. At that point, the medical evidence was from Dr. Huth and Dr. Hupel, who had both expressed the opinion that the respondent could not return to bricklaying.
[37] Although she made the decision in August 2005, Ms. Mayo never directly told the respondent that she was terminating his benefits until close to five months later, when on January 17, 2006 she wrote a letter to him.
(x) Further Report from Dr. Huth
[38] On October 3, 2005, the appellant received a supplemental claim report dated September 23, 2005 from the respondent. Enclosed was a report dated September 20, 2005 from Dr. Huth. He stated that the respondent was reporting continuing back pain, had problems with the discs in his lower back and could not lift repetitively. Dr. Huth stated that there was no progress and the date when the respondent could resume some of his usual activities was unknown as was the date when he would be sufficiently recovered to resume full activities.
[39] Between September 26 and October 28, 2005, the respondent again tried to work as a bricklayer but was unable to do so.
(xi) Additional Surveillance
[40] The appellant arranged for further surveillance of the respondent in the fall of 2005. Surveillance was conducted on November 8, 9, 21 and 22, 2005 for a total of 21 hours. During this time, the respondent was observed driving his vehicle but he was not observed doing any work.

Yes, if you a request out of the blue to fill out an “activities profile form” or something similar to that, you can pretty much guarantee they have had you under surveillance.


Just wondering, if they can watch us with cameras and video etc when outside, are they also taking this through our windows, inside our homes too? Would that even be legal? I have some major issues and on a slew of medications, I don’t want to add fear and paranoia on top of my insane already worries!! It’s wrong that they can make us feel fear to the point of feeling we are doing something wrong if we need to run to Walmart. Don’t we still have the right to live?

Yes, if they can see you through the windows from the street, public sidewalk-smile and wave!

From another case against manulife: Ms. Milner also seeks aggravated damages for the fact that one of the investigators engaged by Manulife took video images of her sons playing in the street outside her home and that one of the investigators took video images of herself, her daughter and her daughter’s friend through her dining room window. In respect of this alleged wrongdoing, Ms. Milner also advances a claim for breach of privacy which I will deal with below.

So would one be under surveillance before or after the form is requested to be completed? (daily activities form)

yes! If you got the form you likely have been under surveillance and likely to be again.

Request your claim file