It’s been a long time coming and this week ends on a high note.
Today, charges of Criminal Negligence causing the death of Sam Fitzpatrick, contrary to s.220(b) of the Criminal Code, were sworn today on Vancouver Provincial Court against Gerald KARJALA, Timothy RULE, and Pieter Kiewit Sons ULC ( dba Peter Kiewit Sons co.)
A first appearance is scheduled for the corporate defendent, Peter Kiewit, July 17th at 2pm in Vancouver Provincial Court.
Warrants have been issued for the accused individuals and sources indicate to me that both individuals have been or are currently located in the US.
Bethany Lindsay of CBC has a full report up on this here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/sam-fitzpatrick-workplace-death-criminal-negligence-charges-1.5157579
“Unprecedented criminal negligence charges have been filed against a major construction company and two of its managers in the 2009 death of Sam Fitzpatrick on a B.C. worksite.
Peter Kiewit Sons Co., Timothy Rule and Gerald Karjala are all named in an indictment sworn Friday morning and provided to CBC News.
Fitzpatrick was 24 years old when he was crushed by a falling boulder on a Kiewit hydroelectric construction project on the Central Coast on Feb. 22, 2009. His younger brother, Arlen, was watching when it happened.
Fitzpatrick’s family and friends, along with the United Steelworkers union, have spent the last decade fighting for accountability in the tragedy.
Family friend Mike Pearson described news of charges as bittersweet but very welcome.
“It’s an example of the system working. The justice system has been heavily criticized in the last little while, and this is an example, so far, of it working the way it’s supposed to and people taking a stand and being brave and standing up for what’s right,” Pearson told CBC.
This, has been a long time coming. I met Mike and Brian long ago in their journey to this day and this has been one of the most compelling stories I have worked on and it led to an examination of many other projects Kiewit has worked on here in BC, ( https://lailayuile.com/tag/kiewit/ )
I for one, will have a bittersweet weekend on this one but it sets precedent in BC and Canada for all workers who have been hurt or died on the job doing something they shouldn’t have been doing. It also brings to mind the sawmill explosion in BC, where conditions were known to be unsafe yet workers continued to work.
Kiewit has a long history of getting the contracts over and over again in BC, despite a number of issues that have plagued them here and in the US. https://lailayuile.com/2014/12/19/kiewit-general-comitted-willful-and-serious-safety-violations-in-washington-state-accident-fined-150000/
I’ll add more shortly. And sorry for the extended absence but there are only so many hours in a day 🙂