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Lawsuit Launched in Response to Fatal Sawmill Blasts

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 @ 2:37 PM

Prince George, B.C. – A lawsuit has been launched against WorkSafeBC and the provincial government by workers and families involved in two fatal sawmill explosions in 2012.

The court action calls on the court to  certify the action as a class action.

Two separate explosions at Lakeland Mill in Prince George and Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake killed four workers and injured dozens more.

A notice of civil claim filed January 7 in B.C. Supreme Court says “prior to the Babine explosion, WorkSafe knew or ought to have known that in sufficient concentrations wood dust is combustible and poses a serious risk of explosion.”

The plaintiffs allege both explosions were caused in whole or in part by the defendant WorkSafe’s negligence, including negligent inspection of the mills.

They also allege Worksafe’s investigations into the explosions were conducted negligently.

In addition, the plaintiffs allege WorkSafe’s negligent inspections and investigations constituted a breach of fiduciary duties owed to the workers, causing them physical and psychiatric injuries.

The accusations have not been proven in court.

The plaintiffs are seeking general damages along with special and punitive damages along with a declaration that WorkSafe’s inspections of the mills and its investigations into them were negligent.


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