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Project Manager Gets 3.5 Year Prison Term for Workplace Negligence


In the past we have reported on the Metron matter where, on December 24, 2009, six workers entered a faulty swing stage to repair balconies on the 13th floor of an apartment building in Toronto.  Only one worker was wearing fall protection.  The swing stage split into two pieces and four workers fell to their deaths one worker survived the fall but had devastating injuries.  The one worker that had fall protection was safely rescued.

In this matter, charges were laid under the Criminal Code.  On Friday June 26, 2015 Vadim Kazenelson, who was the project manager on December 24, 2009, was found guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death, and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.  In this case, the Judge stated that Kazenelson was aware that fall protections were not in place but let the workers board the swing stage anyway.  The Judge found that Kazenelson “showed wanton and reckless disregard” for the workers.  On Monday January 11, 2016, Justice Ian MacDonnell sentenced Kazenelson to 3.5 years of prison for his role in the four workplace deaths and negligence causing harm. 

The Company Metron Construction pleaded guilty to criminal negligence and was fined $750,000 plus the 25% victim fine surcharge (vfs).  The Director of Metron Construction was fined $90,000 plus the 25% vfs.  The supplier of the swing stage – Swing N Scaff Inc. was charged and convicted of failing to ensure the swing stage was in good working condition and received a fine of $350,000.00.

Kazenelson has appealed the sentence and we will continue to report on the outcome of the case as it progresses to appeal.

Please Note: This blog has been prepared as an informational service for our clients and other interested parties. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, a complete statement of the law or opinion on any subject. Although we endeavour to ensure the accuracy of the content, no one should act upon the information provided without a thorough examination of the law after the facts of a specific situation are fully considered.



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