Employee convicted of criminal negligence

September 08, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Antonio Di Domenico

On March 22, 2006, B.C. Ferries’ vessel the Queen of the North missed a scheduled turn causing it to run aground and sink off the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Fifty-seven passengers and 42 crew members abandoned ship before it sank. Two passengers were never found and were declared dead.

On May 13, 2013, seven years later, Karl Lilgert, the Queen of the North’s navigation officer, was convicted of two counts of criminal negligence following a four-month jury trial. read more…

Independent contractor’s behavior can lead to criminal liability for employers

September 23, 2012 0 COMMENTS

By Antonio Di Domenico

On Christmas Eve 2009, a swing stage (a work platform) suspended on the 14th floor of an Ontario apartment building collapsed. Four workers including the site supervisor died after falling to the ground.

Metron Construction was charged with criminal negligence causing death under Canada’s Criminal Code. The company’s owner and sole director, Joel Swartz, was charged under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act. Both the company and Swartz pleaded guilty. In two decisions, R. v. Metron and R. v. Swartz, both were fined significantly.

The basis for the charges and fines? The expanded scope of criminal liability under Canada’s Criminal Code, which is no longer confined to the “directing mind” of a corporation. Here it applied to an independent contractor. read more…