Appeals filed in in Giant Mine decision

Those held responsible for deaths of nine workers killed by a bomb planted by a striking worker appeal $10.7 million decision; victims' families also want mine's owner personally held responsible

Both sides are appealing a high-profile ruling by the Northwest Territories Supreme Court that awarded $10.7 million in damages after nine miners were killed after a bomb exploded in a mineshaft at Giant Mine in Yellowknife on Sept. 18, 1992.

The bomb was planted by Roger Warren, a striking worker.

The parties found responsible for the deaths of the workers are appealing the ruling, as are the victims’ families. Only Warren has yet to file an appeal, according to a CBC report.

The defendants, including the Canadian Auto Workers, the Northwest Territories government, security firm Pinkerton’s of Canada, Royal Oak Ventures and two union members said the court made a series of errors. The families want the head of Royal Oak mines held responsible for the deaths.

Who was responsible for the explosion?

A look at the court decision shows it doled out responsibility as follows:

•26 per cent — Roger Warren, the man who planted the bomb;

•23 per cent — Royal Oak, the employer that operated the mine;

•22 per cent — the Canadian Auto Workers;

•15 per cent — Pinkerton’s, the firm responsible for security;

•nine per cent — the Government of the Northwest Territories;

•two per cent — employee who was president of the union local;

•two per cent — a member of the local union executive; and

•one per cent — another employee who had planted bombs in the past.

For more information see:

Glenn Tait, a partner in the labour and employment practice group in the Yellowknife office of McLennan Ross, wrote extensively about the court decision in the Jan. 19, 2005, issue of Canadian Employment Law Today.

See $10 million awarded in N.W.T. mine blast

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