The tragic Christmas Eve 2009 swing stage collapse which led to the deaths of four workers and the serious injury of another at a west Toronto construction site continues to have legal repercussions and break new ground in health and safety law.
In the 2012 Metron Construction and Swartz decisions concerning the deaths of four workers and serious injury of a fifth worker, the Ontario Court of Justice imposed substantial fines but no jail time for the company's president under either provincial or federal legislation. More recently, however, in R. v. Roofing Medics Ltd., which involved the fatality of one worker, the court did impose jail time on the owner of the company. Employers should take note. It's not yet clear if the Roofing Medics case will influence future decisions, but the Ontario Court of Justice has at least shown that it is willing to impose jail time on employers that do not comply with health and safety legislation.
The cases, R. v. Metron Construction Corporation, and R. v. Swartz, are now posted online and we thought you would be interested in a more in-depth commentary of these two cases.