Manager to face trial over deadly swing-stage collapse
Four men died, one injured in Christmas Eve accident
A project manager will be tried on charges of criminal negligence in connection with a deadly swing-stage collapse that occurred in Toronto just over three years ago.
A group of workers fell from a swing stage suspended on the side of Kipling Avenue highrise on the afternoon of Dec. 24, 2009, when the structure suddenly collapsed.
Five men fell 13 storeys to the ground.
Four of them died. The fifth suffered debilitating injuries.
Metron Construction, the company that employed the men, later pleaded guilty to negligence and was fined.
The company's owner, Joel Swartz, was also fined.
But Crown prosecutors dropped charges of criminal negligence causing death against Swartz, saying they didn't believe there was a reasonable chance of a conviction.
Now Vadim Kazenelson, the project manager, will face trial on four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Kazenelson told CBC News Thursday that he was disappointed by a judge’s decision to move ahead with a trial.
The Ontario Federation of Labour issued a news release on Thursday, applauding the decision to move forward with charges.
"Four workers are dead due to workplace negligence and, so far, not a single employer has gone to jail," said OFL president Sid Ryan, in a statement.