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Ministry of Labour Sued For Hiring Alleged Incompetent Inspector

Metron Construction faced a record $750,000 for safety violations as a result of the Christmas Eve, 2009 scaffold collapse. Now it appears that the Ontario Ministry of Labour is facing a negligence suit brought on by the lone survivor of that accident.

Dilshod Marupov is seeking millions of dollar in damages from the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), and a number of other plaintiffs, for hiring an alleged incompetent safety inspector.
In the lawsuit against the MOL, Dilshod Marupov, along with other plaintiffs, alleges that: 

  • the MOL failed to enforce statutory requirements for safety;
  • failed to properly train its employees to inspect the scaffolding and enforce the statutory safety requirements; and
  • hired employees who were incompetent and did not use the requisite care in inspecting the premises and the scaffolding, as well as other allegations. 

 The allegations have not been proven in court.

In the lawsuit, the MOL refused to answer certain questions including questions about the education, training and experience of its inspector assigned to the job site and about changes in certain MOL policies after the incident. 

The plaintiffs brought a motion to the Superior Court of Justice in which the court ordered the MOL to answer most of the refused questions.

At examination for discovery, the court noted that "core policy" decisions of government are protected from lawsuits, but governments can be liable where government agents are negligent in carrying out their duties.  The court noted that "it is an open question whether discretionary decisions by inspectors as to when or whether to inspect and frequency of inspections are core policy decisions" of the government or whether they are operational decisions of employees that may form the basis of a lawsuit for damages.

Click here to read court document 

For further information please contact Greg Sathmary at (613) 260-0600.

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