Pepsi Bottling Group fined $45K in fatal Moncton accident
Thomas Snitch, 39, was killed in a forklift incident in December 2012
The Pepsi Bottling Group in Moncton has been fined $45,000 in connection with a fatal workplace accident at the plant in 2012.
Thomas Snitch, 39, was killed on Dec. 17 when a co-worker tried to use a forklift to pry a piece of metal bolted to the floor, the metal detached and hit Snitch in the head.
Snitch's mother, Sandra Ross, was crying as she read her victim impact statement aloud to the provincial court judge on Thursday.
She said her son died two days before his 40th birthday.
A year-and-a-half later, she can't get over his death and she relives the pain every time she sees a Pepsi commercial on TV or a Pepsi logo on a bottle, she said.
The fine was a joint recommendation by the Crown and defence.
The maximum sentence for the charge is a $250,000 fine and/or six months in jail.
The Crown said the judge has to take into account the size of the company and how to deter other companies from being lax with their equipment.
Defence lawyer Mark Tector said the fine was reasonable, given that Pepsi pleaded guilty.
Judge Troy Sweet asked when Pepsi had decided to plead guilty.
Tector said it was a month ago and requested 60 days to pay the fine.
Sweet agreed with the recommended $45,000 fine and also imposed the required 20 per cent victim fine surcharge of $9,000.
He gave the company 30 days to pay.
The contractor Snitch was working for, Leon Marcel LeBlanc, previously pleaded guilty to failing to ensure an industrial lift truck was used for the purpose for which it was designed.
He was fined $3,000 on March 20 of this year.
Pepsi was originally facing two charges under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, but on June 13 the Crown withdrew the second charge of failing to ensure an employee under its direction used an industrial lift truck only for the purposes for which is was designed.