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The Saint John Law Courts building. Image: Brad Perry

Inquest ordered into death of worker in Saint John

By Brad Perry Aug 9, 2023 | 6:42 AM

The death of a worker at a Saint John scrap metal recycling facility will be the subject of a corner’s inquest.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice and Public Safety announced an inquest into the death of Bruce Lagace.

Lagace was killed on Nov. 24, 2021, while working at the American Iron & Metal recycling facility in west Saint John.

The company’s CEO has said Lagace died when a crane operator was sweeping out a truck trailer with a boom attachment.

Presiding coroner Michael Johnston and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses during the four-day inquest to determine the facts surrounding the man’s death.

While the jury cannot make any finding of legal responsibility, it will have the opportunity to make recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.

The coroner’s inquest is scheduled to take place in Saint John from Oct. 10 to 13.

Lagace’s death was one of two workplace fatalities at AIM Recycling’s Saint John facility in less than a year.

Darrell Richards suffered life-threatening injuries during an incident on June 30, 2022. He died in the hospital the next day.

AIM Recycling was charged with four offences under the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to the death of Richards:

  • Failing to take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of Richards;
  • Failing to acquaint an employee with any hazard related to the handling and disposal of a calender roll;
  • Failing to provide the information that is necessary to ensure an employee’s health and safety; and
  • Failing to ensure that work is competently supervised and that supervisors have sufficient knowledge.

The company is set to stand trial on the four charges in March 2024.


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