Verdict reached on City of Greater Sudbury case
Officials with the City of Sudbury have to be breathing a lot easier this Friday.
The city has been found not guilty in the death of 58-year-old Cecile Paquette in 2015.
She was struck by a piece of heavy equipment and killed at a construction site downtown.
Earlier this year, the construction company, Interpaving Limited, was fined $195,000 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act after the company failed to provide a signaller at the work site.
The City of Greater Sudbury today was cleared of six charges in connection with a fatal accident on a municipal construction site almost three years ago.
58-year-old Cecile Paquettewas struck and killed by a grader that was backing up on a city construction site.
The contractor doing the work for the city was Interpaving.
Paquette was using a walker to cross an intersection where work was being done.
There was no police present to control traffic at the time, which is required under law.
A judge found Interpaving was responsible for ensuring police were there, if needed.
The judge also found the testimony of three Interpaving employees not to be credible or reliable, including the operator of the grader involved in the incident.
Another employee of the paving company admitted to lying to a Ministry of Labour inspector.
The court also heard that Interpaving submitted a falsified traffic protection plan after the fatal accident.
In the end, the judge found the city was not responsible for making sure Interpaving was in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
The Ministry of Labour says it strongly disagrees with the decision to dismiss the charges against the city.
It plans to carefully review the decision and may appeal it.
City lawyers refused to comment on Friday's decision, but Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger did offer a statement late this afternoon, saying:
"The safety of the public and our workers is of utmost importance to the organization, and we will always take this very seriously."
In the spring, Interpaving was found guilty of failing to provide a traffic signaller the day Paquette was killed and was fined $195,000.
Justice K. Lische's reasons for judgement in case between Ministry of Labour of Ontario and The City of Sudbury