New Brunswick

Employer charged after teen's death pleads guilty to safety violation

A forestry company in northern New Brunswick charged after the death of a 17-year-old employee has pleaded guilty to violating workplace safety legislation.

17-year-old Wanny Pelletier died after accident at Saint-Quentin pellet plant 2 years ago

Savoie Group was charged after 17-year-old Wanny Pelletier died from injuries suffered at the Saint-Quentin pellet plant. (Facebook)

A forestry company in northern New Brunswick charged after the death of a 17-year-old employee has pleaded guilty to violating workplace safety legislation. 

Wanny Pelletier died in the Edmundston hospital in December 2016, four days after a work accident where he became stuck under a conveyor at a Saint-Quentin plant.

The Savoie Group — the town's largest employer, was in Campbellton provincial court Monday to respond to charges laid under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Two charges were laid last December after an investigation into Pelletier's death by WorkSafeNB and the RCMP.

The company pleaded guilty to failing to provide the necessary supervision of Pelletier. A second charge of failing to ensure a machine was used according to the manufacturer's instructions was withdrawn.

Wanny Pelletier's mother, Stéphanie Labonté Côté, launched a civil lawsuit against the company last December, a few days after the WorkSafe NB charges. (Submitted)

Pelletier's death rocked the small community an hour east of Edmundston. The high school student was cleaning at the pellet plant when his leg was caught in the conveyor, WorkSafeNB said.

The case will be back in Campbellton court on Feb. 12, when the Savoie Group will be sentenced.

Pelletier's mother is also suing the company for negligence, a lawsuit she launched a few days after WorkSafeNB laid charges.

The Savoie Group is Saint-Quentin's largest employer. Pelletier died at the town's pellet plant. (CBC)

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said incorrectly that Wanny Pelletier was hit in the stomach by a piece of machinery. WorkSafeNB said that in fact his leg became stuck in the conveyor when he was cleaning.
    Nov 09, 2018 2:59 PM AT

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