Justice David Masuhara approves class-action against BC gov’t over 2013 fuel spill into Lemon Creek, Rejected BC’s position, “everyone should be concerned when the government fails in its duties to protect the environment and take responsibility for its mistakes.” Wow, are there any judges like that in Alberta?


B.C. court approves class-action against province over 2013 fuel spill by The Canadian Press, May 4, 2017, Calgary Herald

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has approved a class-action lawsuit against the provincial government over a fuel spill that forced the evacuation of thousand of residents in the Slocan Valley four years ago.

The law firm representing 2,500 residents says it’s the first such environmental lawsuit certified by the court against the province of B.C.

The firm, Rosenberg Kosakoski Litigation, says in a statement the tanker truck that overturned, spilling 35,000 litres of jet fuel into the Slocan River water system was part of a province-led refuelling operation for firefighting helicopters.

The action alleges the province caused the disaster because of operational mismanagement and then failed to adequately respond to the spill, which resulted millions of dollars in damages to private property and the ecosystem.

At the time, residents were evacuated and a do-not-use water order was put into effect as the fuel moved from Lemon Creek into the Slocan River.

The firm says in the statement that the province contested the class-action application, pointing blame at its co-defendants including the firms contracted by the government to execute the operation.

Calgary-based Executive Flight Centre owned the truck that was on its way to supply helicopters battling a nearby wildfire when it overturned into the creek.

The statement says Justice David Masuhara rejected the province’s position, saying everyone should be concerned when the government fails in its duties to protect the environment and take responsibility for its mistakes. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

2016 01 28: As feared, 3 weeks after taking over private prosecution for Lemon Creek diesel fuel spill, Federal gov’t drops them

2015 07 17: Fuel company sues government over Lemon Creek spill, Executive Flight Centre blames the government and helicopter contractor for poor directions to the fire staging area.

2015 05 20: Private lawsuit over B.C. fuel spill to continue: “As it stands now, I’m going forward. … [If] the government doesn’t do its job, it’s left to the people to get justice”

2014 10 03: CASE CLOSED! Is Harper tough on crime? Citizen Marilyn Burgoon launches private prosecution over 33,000 litre jet fuel spill into Lemon Creek by Calgary-based

2013 08 14: Citizens want to bring a class action against the British Columbia government after a kerosene spill into Lemon Creek

2013 08 09: Class action and civil suits filed over Lemon Creek fuel spill, Fuel distributor and provincial government targeted in legal action ]

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